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Gay marksman allowed to attend competition without his partner

The Local · 25 Aug 2011, 17:00

Published: 25 Aug 2011 17:00 GMT+02:00

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Schützenvereine, as the clubs are known, are normally considered to be conservative bastions in Germany.

But Dirk Winter, a 44-year-old from the western city of Münster, broke new ground this June, by become his club's top marksman, or Schützenkönig, and naming his long-term partner Oliver his "queen" – a position normally reserved for the wives of heterosexual members.

The federal Schützenverein association decided to allow Winter to take part in a national competition if he left Queen Oliver at home, the group’s spokesman Rolf Nieborg said on Thursday.

Earlier, it looked as if Winter could be disqualified from the most important Schützenverein competition in September, sparking a wave of protest from gay rights groups.

When asked whether Winter would be accompanied by anyone, Nieborg indicated that he would be attending the event alone. Winter was not available for comment.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:34 August 25, 2011 by Portnoy
Well that's a load of Santorum.
18:23 August 25, 2011 by lordkorner
How sad,talk about been given the bullet.
18:57 August 25, 2011 by Gretl
He should have been Prince Consort rather than Queen. He looks fetching in his suit. Two steps forward, one step back.
20:17 August 25, 2011 by farmon
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:09 August 25, 2011 by Wise Up!
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
23:20 August 25, 2011 by Englishted
Still love dressing up as soldiers and marching around ,when will they ever learn .
04:24 August 26, 2011 by Alofat
Still being judgmental pricks, huh Englishted, when will your people ever learn?
05:15 August 26, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Yeah; how dare we practice celebrations that date back to 1427. Surely, this must somehow be connected to Nazism or some other German devilishness. Obviously, since we can't have any history independent of that. Surely!

I swear, ignorance is the bane of the world.
06:14 August 26, 2011 by wood artist

Not everything in German history that was hijacked by the Nazis needs to be banned. There are some traditions in all countries that "could" be considered "inappropriate" given history, but this particular German tradition predates Hitler by a few centuries. Maybe I, being of Scot heritage, should be offended by some English traditions too, because they clearly celebrate the oppression of Scotland. And, since I was born in America, I'm certainly offended by the recognition of George III and some other historic English characters too. BTW, we won that war so should we be allowed to dictate what you get to celebrate? I think not.

In this case, while they might have gone even further, the Germans accepted changes yet still maintained a history worth acknowledging. Would at all countries could manage even that much.

12:00 August 26, 2011 by kiaat
they do look fetching (if not a bit grumpy) and bravo that they are brave to stand there, right in the middle of the pic!!!

but i mostly like the couple on the right. schwester is NOT gonna let the gays ruin her foto op.. her face is saying ME ME ME, this is about ME
13:30 August 26, 2011 by ECSNatale
He should tell them to shove their competition where the sun doesn't shine. On what basis did they want to disqualify him? For being gay? Well guess what, you can't discriminate in such ways in the 21st century.

What on earth is wrong about honoring the best shooter and allowing him or her to bring their partner? God forbid a woman should win.. or do they not allow the little ladies to participate?
14:00 August 26, 2011 by marimay
This situation sure isn't much different had it been in Saudi Arabia. Hypocrites.
14:33 August 26, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen

You mean except for the part where they would have been imprisoned and tortured, right?
15:02 August 26, 2011 by petenick
Dirk should surely be allowed to accept his well-deserved award but it is a shame in this day and age that Oliver cannot attend. I am the 33 year partner of a decorated Vietnam Veteran (He was awarded the Meritorious Service Award in 1967). We would boycott any event where either one of us were barred from attending. Basically Germany is more progressive than the US has been but these clubs need to change their ways.
15:04 August 26, 2011 by marimay

If that makes you feel better.
15:47 August 26, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen

I don't care either way, but I do have a problem with hyperbole giving unjust comparison.
16:16 August 26, 2011 by Wise Up!
Looks like a lot of comments 'removed for breach of terms'.


Homosexuality is a behavior and not a protected race that cannot be criticized.

At least in the US we have freedom of speech!!
17:49 August 26, 2011 by lordkorner
wise up,do you really believe that freedom of speech lark in the US.
18:16 August 26, 2011 by marimay

Oh, I am sorry, I understand now. It is okay to treat them bad as long as you don't treat them THAT bad...
20:24 August 26, 2011 by The-ex-pat
04:24 August 26, 2011 by Alofat

Still being judgmental pricks, huh Englishted, when will your people ever learn?

The irony of generalisation has been missed by you then Alofat.........
21:46 August 26, 2011 by SchwabHallRocks
To each their own... but if I was in the picture, on the right or the left side, I would toss it in the garbage can.
23:09 August 26, 2011 by Englishted

Still being judgmental pricks, huh Englishted, when will your people ever learn?

Pricks? Nice , but is you comment racist?

We learned the hard way 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.

@wood artist

You unlike the above come out with some good points (the Scottish and English one I would like a example please)

But what you overlook is how many of these clubs were founded around 1920 when it was forbidden for Germany to have a army after WW1,and these old soldiers clubs help form the brown shirts and the rest is history.

But I am not saying it is the same now because it is not ,I just find it strange in my town of 30,000 there are three clubs that love to march about and have their photos in the local paper but I also find carnival strange but it takes all sorts to make a world so please carry on if this is you kick ,it doesn't hurt anyone as far as I know.
00:27 August 27, 2011 by Aelfgifu1
@Wise Up!

Homosexuality is not a behavior and you should know better than that.
16:31 August 27, 2011 by Gretl
@SchwabHallRocks- why?

I guess this was the post-competition ball. I think it is odd that the winners are being celebrated with their mates/partners. They could just as easily honor the person's individual achievement with a medal a la the Olympics, or a have a significant person in the winner's life present, opening it up to mothers, grandfathers, child, teacher, partner, etc. There's more than one way to skin this cat.
13:37 August 28, 2011 by Al uk
@wood artist you being American i would like to ask what English traditions celebrate oppressing the Scots?

Why is it Americans have to try and link to other nationality? What's wrong with being an American?

Back to topic the above picture just does not like right.
17:03 August 28, 2011 by Expat IV
Al uk

Good points!

We Americans link to other nationalities in acknowledgement of where we originated. There is no such thing as a "Native American". We came from every country in Europe at first then from every country in the world--thus the terms African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American. Great Britain was our mother. I am quite proud to claim my English, Scottish, Irish, French, German, Swiss, Italian (boy, am I a mongrel!) heritage as an American.

I understand that the picture does not look right to many people, but then 50 years ago a picture of a black man with his white wife did not look right to the culture in which I lived. Society, culture and mores do not exist in a vacuum. We must constantly re-evaulate. Yes, there should be constants to which we anchor ourselves, but we must constantly examine them. I grew up in MIssissippi in the 1950's when segregation was the accepted norm in the eyes of the white majority, myself included. Today I consider it shameful.

Coming to grips with a new concept of homosexuality is every bit as difficult as coming to grips with the American Dream that "all men are created equal" includes men--and women-- of all races, but it is simply the right thing to do.
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