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Germany elects first two transgender women to parliament

Germans head to the polls as Merkel's term ends
Germans head to the polls as Merkel's term en... 01:47

Two German politicians made history when they were elected to the country's parliament on Sunday. Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik, both of the Greens party, are the first transgender women to win a parliamentary seat in Germany.

"It is a historic victory for the Greens, but also for the trans-emancipatory movement and for the entire queer community," Ganserer told Reuters. Ganserer, who has been a member of the Bavarian State Parliament since October 2013, said the results were a symbol of an open and tolerant society.

Ganserer has focused on fighting for equal rights for women, the LGTBQ community and disabled community. A mother of two, she hopes to make legislative changes to allow lesbian mothers to adopt children, according to Reuters.

Fellow Greens party candidate Slawik called the election results "madness." "I still can't quite believe it, but with this historic election result I will definitely be a member of the next Bundestag [parliament]," Slawik wrote on Instagram, sharing a shot of herself with a bouquet of flowers.

Slawik has focused on climate issues as well as equal rights and fair wages. She hopes that by 2030 Germany's transportation will run on 100% renewable resources. 

So far the Greens party, or GRÜNE NRW, has earned 14.8% of the votes, coming in third of the nine parties in this parliamentary election. This was the party's "historically best Bundestag election result in our history," the leaders of the party said in a news release.

The historic wins come after a year where hate crimes against LGBTQ people in Germany jumped 36% according to police, Reuters reports. In 1969, homosexuality was decriminalized in Germany and same-sex marriage was legalized in 2017, two years after the U.S.

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