Gay minister: Lover can stay home

2010-08-11 14:11
Berlin - Germany's Guido Westerwelle, Europe's first openly gay foreign minister, said on Wednesday he would not take his partner along on official trips to countries where homosexuality is outlawed.

Westerwelle, who is also Germany's vice-chancellor, told people magazine Bunte ahead of publication on Thursday that there were at least 75 countries that prosecuted gays and lesbians for homosexual activity.

"We want to promote tolerance in the world," he said of himself and his long-time partner, sporting event manager Michael Mronz.

"But we also do not want to achieve the opposite by acting thoughtlessly."

Westerwelle, who leads the pro-business Free Democrats, junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition, noted that in seven countries homosexual acts are a capital offence: Iran, Sudan, Yemen, Mauritania, Somalia, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

Being tolerant

The 48-year-old has already visited two of those states, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, since becoming foreign minister in October, but without Mronz at his side.

"I think it is important that we live by our own standards of tolerance and that we do not adopt sometimes less tolerant standards as our own," he said.

Westerwelle, who had his coming out at Merkel's 50th birthday party in 2004, said he did not feel he was at a diplomatic disadvantage due to his sexual orientation.

"That turned out to be an unfounded concern," he said. "My motto is: do what you like if it does not hurt anyone else."

Mronz, 43, accompanied Westerwelle on a tour of Latin America in March as an official guest of the delegation following a swing through Asia together in January.

Their shared trips raised eyebrows in Germany, less due to their homosexuality than to allegations Mronz was piggybacking on official government business to scoop up new business deals.

Mronz has denied pursuing business while travelling with Westerwelle.
 

Read more on:    germany  |  gay rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You tend to feel more comfortable on an intellectual level. The deep emotional under current today can make you feel a little...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.