PRESS RELEASE

BERLIN DECLARATION

TOP-LEVEL FUNCTIONARIES OF SPORT MAKE A MUTUAL STAND AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA

+++ Federal Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld presents the initiative “Football for Diversity” +++ SPORT BILD will be a media partner +++ ZDF sports studio frontwoman Katrin Müller-Hohenstein presents +++

Berlin (17th July 2013). Federal ministers, the antidiscrimination representative of the federal government, top-level functionaries of German sport, football clubs and the Diversity Charter are signing the Berlin declaration „Together against homophobia. For diversity, respect and acceptance in sports“ on the initiative of the Federal Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld. The Federal Foundation has also invited guests of honour from sport, politics, economy and clubs to the Berlin Representative Office of Deutsche Telekom. Telekom is the sponsor of the event. The media partner SPORT BILD is publishing an issue with the focus on „Homosexuality in football“ for the first time today.

Jörg Litwinschuh, Managing Director of the Foundation:

“I would like to thank the signatories of the Berlin declaration for making a clear stand against homophobia and for the acceptance of homosexual sportspersons for the first time. We hope to gain cooperative partners in the clubs in the coming months in order to integrate our educational project „Football for diversity“, developed together with the University of Vechta, into work with teenagers and young adults in particular. SPORT BILD can, with their sports journalistic competence, with the high acceptance among their readers and with their extensive range, make an important contribution to the success of our educational initiative. At the same time, I am inviting professional sportspersons to get involved in our planned campaign. Because we need role models in sport, who clearly say that they accept lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and intersexuals (LSBTI) in sport or even that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or intersexual themselves!“

The wording of the Berlin declaration

„As players and partners of sport, we feel committed to the integrative power in our community: Sport stands for diversity, it connects people with the most diverse backgrounds, world views and personality attributes. Core values in sport are respect, tolerance and fair play. We strongly recognise the unconditional implementation of these values in sport. Yet, in large parts of sport, homophobic tendencies are still very distinct, homosexual sportspersons feel discriminated and restricted in their development opportunities. In addition, the attribute of (supposed) homosexual orientation makes for hostilities, disparagements and degradations and are used as fuel for individual fears, frustrations and aggressions in sport. We are therefore standing up for an active process against homophobia on all levels of sport. We support measures for promoting a prejudice-free environment and for creating a culture of active diversity based on mutual esteem and respect. Above all, such measures should also be aimed at teenagers and young adults in order to reinforce corresponding attitudes as part of their identity development. So as to be able to offer these measures in the most appropriate way for specific audiences, empirically reliable data on homophobia in sport are indispensable. We therefore decisively support the increase in scientific research in this area. The concurrence of as many sports facilities as possible and the civil society for diversity, respect and acceptance in sport offers the best prerequisites for a sustainable change in thinking and dealing of all participants.”

Initial signatories:

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, MdB (Federal Minister of Justice, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld) | Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, MdB (Minister of the Interior) | Dr. Kristina Schröder, MdB (Federal Minister for Family, Senior Citizens, Womena and Youth) | Ilse Ridder-Melchers (Vice president of the German Olympic Sports Federation) | Wolfgang Niersbach (President of the German Football Association) | Uli Hoeneß (President of FC Bayern Munich) | Klaus-Dieter Fischer (President of SV Werder Bremen) | Martin Kind (President of the Hannoverscher Sportverein of 1896) | Thorsten Manske (Vice President of Hertha BSC Berlin) | Ralf Auer (President of VfR Mannheim 1896) | Dirk Zingler (President 1. FC Union Berlin) | Stefan Orth (President FC St. Pauli of 1910) | Christine Lüders (Leader of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency) | Aletta Gräfin von Hardenberg (Managing Director of Charter of Diversity) | Jörg Litwinschuh (Managing Director of the Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld)

Information on the Berlin declaration and documents presented on the event:

http://www.fussball-fuer-vielfalt.de

PRESS CONTACT:

Bundesstiftung Magnus Hirschfeld
Managing Director
Jörg Litwinschuh
Mohrenstraße 63, D-10117 Berlin/Germany
Tel.: +49 30 212 343 76 0 | Fax: +49 30 212 343 762
Email: vorstand@mh-stiftung.de