German gays use Oktoberfest to push marriage equality

What a neat idea.  I don’t even like beer that much (other than that Belgian beer, Lambic, which is yummy (and not beer-y at all, but rather berry)).  But I’d love to attend Oktoberfest some day, and this just sounds like a hoot (the pictures on the official Oktoberfest Web site look fun too).

Christian Science Monitor:

View inside one of the “big tents,” courtesy of Oktoberfest.de

Probably the most popular celebrations during Pink Oktoberfest, Gay Sunday has its roots in the 1970s with a gay organization known as the Munich Lions Club, which organized a meet-up during Oktoberfest’s first Sunday at the Bräurosl tent – supposedly named after the daughter of a beer firm founder.As gay rights gained steam in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, their Sunday meeting became a destination in itself.

“These days you can barely find room in the tent,” said Lion’s Club board member Dieter Weissenborn, who helps run a smaller event on a tent balcony for only Lion’s Club supporters.

For Schröder, Gay Sunday means a break from the dreariness of daily work back home. But, he said, it also shows how gays are becoming more involved in some of Germany’s most famous traditions.

“This is just a great time, but in another way I’ve very proud to say that I can openly be here with him,” Schröder said pointing to his partner.

I remember when I was in Germany last. I was in Berlin, literally as the wall was coming down, in early December of 1989.

Photo by John Aravosis, Berlin 12/89

The only German I knew was pigeoned together from television and my various other southern European languages. I’ll never forget the yummy blonde East German soldiers.  It was like living the gay version of Thomas Hardy’s “The man he killed.”

“Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

“But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him and he at me,
And killed him in his place.

“I shot him dead because –
Because he was my foe,
Just so – my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although

“He thought he’d ‘list perhaps,
Off-hand like – just as I –
Was out of work – had sold his traps –
No other reason why.

“Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.”


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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