Berlin (dpa) – Former Bundestag president Wolfgang Thierse has taken his departure from the SPD into the dispute over proper dialogue with sexual and other minorities.
This caused heated debate on social media. The starting point was a debate about how society should deal with often disadvantaged groups. The tentative highlight is a letter from the 77-year-old at the top of the SPD in which the former GDR civil rights activist announced his departure, according to information from the German news agency.
According to a report by the “Tagesspiegel”, Thierse asked in the letter to SPD leader Saskia Esken to inform him publicly whether his “stay in the common party would be desirable or rather harmful”. He was in doubt when two members of the party leadership distanced themselves from him. This was an allusion to the fact that Esken and party deputy Kevin Kühnert had previously criticized “statements by individual representatives of the SPD” about identity politics. It’s about how you behave and talk about certain groups. Thierse had previously spoken emphatically about this subject.
Both parties are in talks, it was said in party circles in Berlin on Wednesday. Thierse was deputy chairman of the party until 2005. The 77-year-old was a member of the Bundestag from 1990 to 2013.
Thierse also criticized “leftist identity politics” in a guest article for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. An attitude is expanding to refuse discussion. In view of, among other things, the debate about renaming the Mohrenstrasse in Berlin, the name of which was criticized as racist, Thierse wrote: ‘Until now, the purification and liquidation of history has been a matter for dictators, authoritarian regimes and ideological fanatics. “
The SPD man also finds critical words for a language that is sensitive to minorities: ‘If university teachers have to inquire hesitantly and uncertainly how their students would like to be addressed, whether with’ woman ‘,’ gentleman ‘or’ human ‘, with ” He “or” she “or” it “, then that is no longer harmless. About Deutschlandfunk, Thierse said that there were “radicalizations of discourse” that “make it difficult to live on common ground”.
According to reports from the Tagesspiegel and the online magazine queer.de, the road to a certain escalation of the debate was only paved by further process. Accordingly, there was a dispute over an online conversation from the SPD Fundamental Values Commission with FAZ column head Sandra Kegel. Activists from the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender scene had accused the woman of denying the existence of queer hostility in the film scene, among other things in an article. Now they were heavily critical of the event. The lesbian and gay federation in Germany accused the SPD of saying their claims that they are on the side of queer people were worthless.
According to the reports, Esken and Kühnert then invited about 20 people, including representatives from the scene, to an online conversation in March. According to the reports, they wrote about the circumstances of the criticized online debate: “We are deeply ashamed of this.” In addition, they wrote that statements by persons of the SPD about identity politics in the media, on platforms and within the party paint a backward-looking picture of the SPD. Thierse responded.
After it became known that Thierse had initiated an exit from the SPD, a debate arose, especially in the social networks. Secretary of State Thomas Bareiß (CDU) of Economic Affairs tweeted that the “party exclusion debate” exposed the intellectual void of the SPD. Secretary of State Michael Roth (SPD) praised Thierse as a decent and important Social Democrat.