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Gay top marksman 'must name female Queen'

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Gay top marksman 'must name female Queen'
A marksman checks his sights at the Historic German Shooting Federation. Photo: DPA
15:41 CEST+02:00
A gay man is being blocked from collecting his title as King of the Marksmen in Düsseldorf because he plans on collecting the prize with his husband.

A speaker for the Bund der Historischen Deutschen Schützenbruderschaften (BHDS) (Federation of Historic German Marksmen's Brotherhoods) said that “it doesn't correspond to tradition that a 'royal pair' are male and male or female and female."

The speaker said that while the BHDS did not have a problem with the shooting king being gay, it disapproved of him not respecting the centuries-old tradition of the Catholic club by picking up the prize with a woman at his side.

But top marksman Udo Figge intends to defy the BHDS hierarchy and pick up his prize with husband of 13 years, Dirk Jehle.

“We don't live in the 19th Century,” Figge told the Rheinische Post. “I don't want to take along a woman as a disguise.

“I always wanted to be King of the Marksmen. Now I've finally achieved it and I want to enjoy this beautiful moment with Dirk.”

Figge's local shooting club are also backing him.

“We're delighted for the two of them,” said spokesperson Rene Krombolz.

Christian-only club

This isn't the first time the BHDS has gotten itself in hot water over a sensitive equal rights issue.

Last year the organisation threatened to strip a man of his crown because he was Muslim. While national outcry forced the club to backtrack, Mithat Gedik was forbidden from taking any further part in the competition.

“It is in our constitution that we only accept Christians,” a BHDS spokesman said at the time.

But at a national meeting scheduled for November the club is set to relax its rules, reports Express.

According to a proposed change, non-Christians will be allowed to join the club in the future although they wouldn't be given positions of responsibility.

People in civil partnerships, meanwhile, will gain full access to election to the club's hierarchy.

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