Founder of anti-gay German party now claims to be pro-gay

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A political party in Germany, known for its opposition to LGBT rights, claims to have changed its position.

The Alternative for Germany party (AFD) has previously been labelled anti-gay, sexist and racist.

In the run-up to this week’s European elections, AFD suddenly started featuring gay, women and immigrant supporters in its campaign.

Writing in Spiegel, journalist Melanie Amann questioned whether the new stance was “genuine”.

The party announced plans to establish a strategy group for gay issues.

“I think it’s great”, said AFD founder Bernd Lucke.

Mr Lucke came under fire earlier this year for comments about gay retired German footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger.

The politician urged him to “commit to family values”.

The AFD are expected to gain seats in the European Parliament once the results are announced on Sunday evening.

Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Germany.

Germany legalised domestic partnerships for same-sex couples in 2001. Adoption rights were granted three years later.