"I'm Brother Norbert, live in Hofheim near Frankfurt, I'm a Franciscan priest.

I'm gay.” Norbert Lammers is one of 125 Catholic Church workers who come out as queer in videos.

They are part of the #OutInChurch campaign, including at least four people from the Rhine-Main area.

The campaign campaigns "for a church without fear" and draws attention to queer employees of the Catholic Church and their rights.

Those involved are demanding a change in church labor law, the sexual orientation and gender identity of employees should no longer be grounds for dismissal.

In addition, defamatory statements about gender and sexuality should be removed from church teaching.

"Cross-examined"

In emotional videos, those involved in the campaign report how they have kept their sexual orientation secret and how church representatives have put them under pressure.

"At some point I was told that my lifestyle was too conspicuous and I was cross-examined," says Holger Allmenröder, pastor in Seligenstadt.

Stefan Diefenbach, who lives in Frankfurt and was a religious priest, says: "It became clear to me that being gay has to go outside, I want to live it." And a 53-year-old priest from Hesse, who wants to remain anonymous, says: "It will It quickly becomes clear that if you live like this, you are a sinner and you will go to hell.

According to the makers, it is “the biggest coming out in the history of the Catholic Church”.

With their action, some of those involved endanger their employment relationship with the church.

Church employees usually have a special clause in their employment contracts that obliges them to align their lifestyle with Catholic doctrine and morals.

This applies not only to priests, but also to church musicians, pastoral workers and employees in church institutions such as day-care centers and nursing homes.

Catholic associations such as the Central Committee of German Catholics supported the action and expressed solidarity with the demands.

The dioceses of Limburg and Mainz have not yet commented.

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