June 24 (UPI) -- Germany's parliament this week approved an annulment of thousands of criminal convictions under the nation's former anti-gay law and issued compensation to convicted men.
The law criminalizing sex between men existed in Germany under various forms from 1871 to 1994. Parliament members voted Thursday to throw out convictions affecting about 50,000 men since World War II.
The measure includes financial compensation for those still living. Germany will send 3,000 euro, or about $3,350, to roughly 5,000 men -- and another 1,500 euro, or about $1,680, for each year they spent in prison.
"This has been a very, very long fight for the rehabilitation of gay men who were convicted in this democratic German state -- not in the National Socialist state, but in the democratic German state," Axel Hochrein, a board member of the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany, told the New York Times.
Despite that support, CNN reported that Hochrein's organization has said Germany's level of compensation is not enough.
The group also critically pointed to how parliament members defined which convictions they'd throw out. Parliament chose to keep on the books convictions involving men charged with having sex with 14- and 15-year-olds. The age of consent in Germany is 14.