In news about refugees fleeing war and strife in the Middle East, rarely does the acronym LGBT come up – which is exactly why a special shelter in Germany is forming.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Berlin-based gay rights organization Schwulenberatung plans to open a 125-bed shelter specifically catering to LGBT refugees seeking safe harbor there in Germany.
RT America added that Germany estimates its currently home to 3,500 LGBT asylum seekers. The European nation has take an ardently open stance toward accepting refugees, leading to some internal political strife – particularly following a spree of violence and sexual assault allegedly waged by groups of refugees on New Year's Eve.
Last year, the Washington Post reported on the plight of LGBT refugees, a group who often receives homophobia and other oppression, and even assault, from other refugees.
"Once in Europe, gays and lesbians are herded along with other asylum seekers into cramped shelters and camps, where a number of them are exposed to serious harassment," the WaPo explained.
LGBT refugees are already a protected class amongst refugees in Germany and allowed to transfer to hostels in order to escape such treatment, but German gay rights advocates say that at least half of eligible LGBT refugees are routinely denied the alternative housing.
"Just like everyone else, with the refugees, there are good ones and bad ones, and there are those who are carrying homophobic attitudes from their homelands," Berlin gay migrant advocate Jouanna Hassoun told the Washington Post.
"Those attitudes won't be abandoned immediately."
Schwulenberatung hopes to have the Berlin LGBT refugee shelter open and operating by March.