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Germany's Next Foreign Minister Is Openly Gay

PTI 30 Sep 2009, 2:02:41 IST

Guido Westerwelle and his gay partner are Germany's new “power couple” — at least according to the nation's leading daily, which splashed a  photo of the pair hugging on election night on the front-page in Tuesday's paper. 

The ringing endorsement for the 47-year-old Westerwelle, who is widely expected to be tapped for the high-profile post of foreign minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel's new government, in the Bild daily also highlighted his personal life in a way he rarely has. 

“His man makes him so strong,” Bild wrote about Westerwelle, declaring that his 42-year-old partner Michael Mronz was not only his most important adviser during the campaign, but also “gives him security and... supports him when he suffers a setback.” 

Despite eight years as leader of the pro-business Free Democrats, Westerwelle's homosexuality has generated relatively little discussion. But with his party set to become kingmaker to Chancellor Merkel's conservatives and him foreign minister, it has been thrust into the spotlight. 

Germans have been generally tolerant of openly gay politicians and others have paved the way, including Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, who already declared back in 2001 that “I'm gay, and it's good that way.”