A boys’ choir without a single female member in its over-500-year history was handed a huge win from a judge this week, dodging an accusation of discrimination.
The accusation originally hit State and Cathedral Choir, a German all-boys group affiliated with Berlin’s University of the Arts, after a 9-year-old girl’s application was rejected.
After auditioning, the girl was told she simply lacked the talent and motivation to be a part of the choir.
According to Germany’s Deutsche Welle, the discrimination complaint stemmed from the girl’s mother.
The resulting court case divided the country as supporters of the choir squared off against gender equality advocates.
Despite the existence of other choirs, the parents insisted on suing.
According to a German travel information website, the country has about 60,000 choirs.
The choir maintained that its decision to not accept the young girl into its ranks was “not predominantly about her gender.”
The presiding judge appeared to agree with this.
The artistic freedom of the historic choir apparently had great weight in the judge’s final decision, which said the acoustic pattern of the group and their “boys choir sound” meant that the rejection was not discrimination.
Supporters of the choir were ecstatic, and many saw the decision as a major victory for the cultural icon.
The State and Cathedral Choir was founded in 1465, predating the German state itself, and has never had a female member.
For now, it looks like that tradition will stand.
The choir can be seen performing briefly below in a German-language news broadcast.
While gender and equality are both fluid concepts in many places, this choir stuck to its guns and walked away with a victory.
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