From 1 June, a cross must hang in every Bavarian authority. This is not a religious symbol, according to Prime Minister Markus Söder, but a commitment to identity.
“All authorities of the Bavarian state administration have to hang crosses in the entrance area starting in June.
This regulation was decided by the Bavarian State Cabinet. It was “as a visible commitment to the basic values of the legal and social order in Bavaria and Germany,” said the State Chancellery.
The rule is valid on June 1, a vote in the state parliament is not necessary. Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) said the crosses should not be a religious symbol of Christianity. “The cross is the fundamental symbol of the cultural identity of Christian-occidental character”. It does not break the neutrality requirement.
After the Cabinet meeting Söder personally brought a cross in the entrance hall of the Munich State Chancellery.
The cross was a gift from the former Munich Cardinal Friedrich Wetter and was consecrated by Söder’s words.
It hung until 2008 in the Cabinet Hall. Politicians of other parties criticized the provision to the cross. FDP leader Christian Lindner tweeted that the way Söder and the CSU used religions for party politics reminded him of the policy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The regulation applies exclusively to the offices of the Free State, not to the authorities of the municipalities and the Confederation in Bavaria. The state government has no power over these.
In front of many Bavarian authorities, there is already a cross hanging, but their attachment was so far a voluntary measure.
So far, crosses are only required for the classrooms of Bavarian schools and courtrooms.
The so-called crucifix prescription was the subject of several court decisions: In 1985, a Bavarian family father filed a complaint against crosses in the classrooms of his children and got the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe in 1995 right.
The court found the attachment of crucifixes in state schools unconstitutional. As a reaction, 25,000 Catholics demonstrated against the verdict at that time, the Bavarian state government responded with a “contradiction clause”: If parents contradict “serious reasons”, the cross must be removed. In 2011, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that crucifixes in schools do not violate fundamental rights, thereby revising its 2009 ruling. Since then, crosses in classrooms have ceased to be fundamental rights violations.”