Unexpected Homophobia In Stuttgart

I just returned home on Tuesday afternoon from a trip that included Karlsruhe, a bit of Stuttgart, and Cologne for the Karneval festivities on Sunday and Monday.  I’m still sorting those photos, and I’ll post about Karlsruhe and Cologne next week.

It was a very interesting weekend, though.  When I was in Stuttgart, I saw a very large Polizei presence walking through the Hauptbahnhof on either side of a small group of people carrying pink flags.  One of the flag carriers shouted, in English, “This is what democracy looks like!”  I had no idea what he was talking about.  Later on, I saw a second, much larger group of men without any noticeable flags or placards being escorted by another rather large group of Polizei.

The Stuttgarter-Nachrichten had the story-  there is a plan to include more details about homosexuality in the sex-ed classes in Baden-Württemberg, and there was a homophobic protest against that change.   What I saw was part of of a counter-protest, hence the pink flags.  The Stuttgarter-Nachrichten has a great article about the protests here, including some pretty terrific photographs.  I was mildly surprised to see the old “Gays are pedophiles” canard written out on a German protest sign, but it was there.

Here’s a few pictures I snapped in the Hauptbahnhof before I found out what was going on.  If I had known this protest was happening, I would have tried to get over to Palace Square to see more.

stuttgartprotest-1 stuttgartprotest-2 stuttgartprotest-3 stuttgartprotest-4

Have you ever stumbled across an unexpected political protest?

An unrelated announcement.

ucfFamily is very important to me.  You wouldn’t know it just from reading my blog because I don’t talk much about them here, but my family is pretty close and I do my best to keep that going.  In corporate-speak, Family is one of my core values.

It is for this reason that  I am going to interrupt my usual blog goings-on to announce, with immense pride and tremendous happiness, that my niece is graduating tomorrow from the University of Central Florida*.   She earned a Bachelor of Science in “Education in Social Science Education”, with double minors in “English Language Arts Education” and “Hospitality and Tourism Management.”  I can’t even begin to fathom how those all go together, but my niece can because she’s one smart cookie.  I wish I could be there to see her graduate, but my team hasn’t finished with the teleportation prototype yet.  Congrats, Rebecca!

(And as long as I’m giving shout-outs to family, today is also the birthday of both my sister and my sister-in-law.  Happy birthday, y’all!)

Normal bloggy stuff will resume next week.  I still haven’t finished talking about my Easter weekend trip!

*UCF is also where I earned my degree, so I’m pretty pleased about that too.