It was a symbolic cake that Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth cut together with Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy Christoph Strässer and further supporters in front of numerous guests at the Federal Foreign Office on 5 May: according to Roth, the rainbow cake is meant to be a visible sign “against any form of social exclusion”.
“I am doing this on behalf of all those who hold positions of political responsibility within our ministry,” said Minister of State Roth in his welcome address. Roth hosted this unusual gathering at the Federal Foreign Office on Tuesday together with MANEO and Rainbow, the working group for gays and lesbians at the Federal Foreign Office. The Minster of State stressed that anyone who spoke out against homophobia was also “a fighter against racism, anti‑Semitism, against the oppression of ethnicities and cultures.” Roth went on to say: “We’re all in the same boat. There is no such thing as first and second degree discrimination.”
Referring to the Federal Foreign Office’s work, Roth made it clear that “all forms of discrimination and social exclusion” were being combated. This fight was not only about tolerance but about advocating respect and acceptance. The Minister of State said that there was still a great deal of work to do in Germany, too. In the presence of Slovenian Ambassador Marta Kos Marko, he highlighted the positive example of Slovenia: the country legalised same‑sex marriage in March this year.