Germany: LGBT groups plan shelters for gay refugees amid attacks

The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD) says several incidents of discrimination and physical assaults against gay refugees have been reported in the past year. "Berlin officials identified 95 cases in the German capital alone between August and December 2015, mainly in refugee homes," Markus Ulrich from the LSVD told NBC News.

Now LGBT communities in Berlin, Nuremberg and other major cities are now planning to set up special shelters exclusively for gay and lesbian refugees. "We have been alerted to a growing number of insults and violent acts against queer refugees, including cases of rape," Marcel de Groot, manager of Berlin's gay counselling centre, Schwulenberatung, said.

The support organization estimates that "between 5 and 10 percent of the 70,000 refugees that arrived in Berlin last year were gay, lesbian or transsexual," he added. Schwulenberatung has had to find emergency accommodation for up to 70 people, mostly gay men, in private Berlin homes because "they had strong fears in the refugee shelters or became victims of attacks," de Groot said.

Social workers and volunteers believe that the estimated number of unreported cases could be even higher. "Many homosexual refugees do not trust police," said de Groot, because authorities in their home counties "often persecute them for their sexual orientation." Read more via NBC