70 years
of the German Basic Law

2019

A survey on expanding the constitutional ban
on discrimination stipulated in Article 3 of the Basic Law

- Fact sheet on the research project -

Assessment of the Basic Law

70 years after its entry into force, survey respondents rate the Basic Law as highly positive: a clear majority sees it as one of the greatest achievements of the Federal Republic of Germany (86 per cent) and believes that it has demonstrably proven itself protecting the basic rights (79 per cent). At the same time, a surprisingly high proportion of those surveyed (61 per cent) is concerned that the Basic Law might not remain applicable forever and that anti-constitutional powers could one day prevail.

Attitude towards broadening Article 3 of the Basic Law

Significantly more respondents came out in favour of rather than against amending Article 3 (3) of the Basic Law to include additional characteristics and thereby broaden the constitutional protection against discrimination to cover additional sections of the population. Accordingly, 56 per cent are in favour of adopting the characteristic “age” (27 per cent against), 52 per cent for including the characteristic “sexual orientation” (33 per cent against) and 49 per cent are in favour of expressly enshrining into the Basic Law the protection from discrimination on account of “gender identity” (while 35 per cent oppose it).

The study revealed that an awareness of the problem of discrimination is associated with higher approval ratings for broadening the protection from discrimination in Article 3 of the Basic Law. If survey respondents are under the impression that discrimination on account of a specific characteristic occurs frequently or at least occasionally, then they are also more likely to advocate adopting a corresponding ban on discrimination within the Basic Law.