German Cabinet OKs plan to annul homosexuality convictions

BERLIN: Germany's Cabinet has approved a bill that will annul the convictions of thousands of gay men under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was applied zealously in post-World War II West Germany.

The measure approved Wednesday foresees compensation of 3,000 euros ($3,230) for each conviction plus 1,500 euros for every year of jail time.

Some 50,000 men were convicted between 1949 and 1969 under the so-called Paragraph 175 outlawing sexual relations between men. The legislation was introduced in the 19th century, toughened under Nazi rule and retained in that form by West Germany.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969 but the legislation wasn't taken off the books entirely until 1994.

The new bill still requires parliamentary approval.