• Germany's news in English

Westerwelle won't take partner to anti-gay lands

AFP · 11 Aug 2010, 17:32

Published: 11 Aug 2010 17:32 GMT+02:00

Westerwelle, who is also Germany's vice-chancellor, told the latest edition of glossy magazine Bunte this week 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.

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.

Story continues below…

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.

But Mronz has denied pursuing business opportunities while travelling with Westerwelle.

Your comments about this article

14:28 August 11, 2010 by AirForceGuy
Well won't THAT be a stinging punishment for those backward, homophobic countries....!
14:33 August 11, 2010 by petenick
All boycotts start small with one or two persons so now we need to get the ball rolling but I believe these ignorant, reliously brainwashed , backward people won't change, at least for the next several generations.
15:23 August 11, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Sorry, how is this news? That's just common sense. His partner doesn't have diplomatic immunity, so he'd be subject to arrest.
15:57 August 11, 2010 by moistvelvet
Wouldn't he be better off simply saying that during these times of belt tightening he is leaving his partner behind to choose scatter cushions. Why do any of them need to take their partners on these trips anyway if it is official business.
16:20 August 11, 2010 by auniquecorn
We have a beautiful room reserved for you and your wife,

??? Where is she by the way?
17:22 August 11, 2010 by freechoice
i think we need to discuss if one actions/words can affect others...

no one lived in a island by himself.
23:43 August 11, 2010 by whatzup
Our hotel welcomes you Mr. and uh... Ms. Westerwelle. Which of you plays the man's role in your ...uh relationship? Just for the record you understand - the voters would be titillated to know.
00:33 August 12, 2010 by wenddiver
What a shame, Ithink we were all really looking forward to hearing about their first trip to Saudi Arabia, Iran or Yemen.
00:35 August 12, 2010 by MonkeyMania
That will save the tax payer a lot. Good choice.
03:21 August 12, 2010 by vonSchwerin
When I read the headline "Westerwelle won't take partner to anti-gay lands", I was hoping that it was because Westerwelle was resigning as FM as wouldn't be going to anti-gay lands himself.
07:50 August 12, 2010 by wenddiver
What's great about this is with the German Army flexing a little muscle defending the Afgans, you can get really tough by leaving the Foreign Minister's Man-wife at home, while in the Middle-East. I'm sure that will re-assure the Arab Allies.

Nice to see he is making the tough sacrafices in wartime.
15:06 August 12, 2010 by auniquecorn
Is his partner Passive?.

Oh, I think I´ll pass on this trip.
16:09 August 13, 2010 by biker hotel harz
I can't be bothered to read through all the replies but is The Local suggesting that all German Foreign Ministers were/are gay and Westerwelle is the only FM to be open about it?
17:59 August 13, 2010 by gffdss
I'm gay. Very STRICTLY gay.

I have no idea what this is about.

Who is this Wuerster fellow? Does he sing?
19:46 August 13, 2010 by ilyushenko
My God, there are some dickheads posting on this story.

Some people are more obsessed with what he does in his bedroom than Westerwelle himself is.

There are many Gay Sex Kinos in Germany that you can visit for research purposes. Or simply Google "Gay sex" for a similar wealth of resources.
23:12 August 13, 2010 by BR549
Regardless, I'll bet San Francisco is on his travel agenda! ;-)
11:19 August 14, 2010 by whatzup
@ ilyushenko: What Westerwelle does in the bedroom is an indication of how confused he is and confusion is not a particularly desirable trait in a minister of state.
14:57 August 16, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Being openly gay is an indication of confusion? How is that?
16:46 August 16, 2010 by whatzup
No one said anything about openly Prufrock. Let me give you an extremely short lesson in the birds and the bees. There are two basic human drives, one to survive and the other two procreate. Westerwelle is confused about the latter. Being confused about anything, never mind something so basic as sex, is not a good recommendation any job especially one with great responsibility.
17:45 August 16, 2010 by Prufrock2010
You and Logic Guy should get together. You both rely on false premises to arrive at conclusions that support your predetermined moralistic conclusions. "There are two basic human drives, one to survive and the other two [sic] procreate." Wrong. The animal survival instinct (humans are animals, right?) is basic. Procreation might be a basic drive for lower forms of animal species, such as you, but for humans it is a choice. Sex is a basic animal instinct, but sex is quite different from procreation, although for humans a prerequisite. The fallacy of your "argument" is to conflate the human sex drive with the innate drive to procreate. If they were not distinguishable, people (straight or gay) who choose not to procreate would not indulge their sexual urges. Yours is one of the oldest anti-gay arguments in the book, finding its origins in the number one fiction best seller of all time, the bible. Your attempt to marginalize gays as "confused" because they engage in sex that cannot result in procreation is particularly offensive, and it is one of the ridiculous arguments now being advanced by the pro-Prop 8 bigots in California. Further, there are hundreds of millions of heterosexuals, such as I, who have no desire to procreate. Been there, done that. But the choice not to procreate is certainly not going to stop me from having sex. What would stop me from having sex, however, is the dreaded possibility that each time I did I would risk procreating.

Westerwelle may be very confused about a lot of things, but apparently not about his sexuality -- hence, the use of the adverb "openly." You, on the other hand, seem very confused about whether homosexuality is part of a person's DNA or a lifestyle choice. Or, for that matter, whether someone else's sexual orientation is any of your business. It's not.
19:20 August 16, 2010 by whatzup
Lifestyle choice my foot. Westerwelle is absolutely confused because he is attracted to other men. Westerwelle is marginalized by his own behavior and giving a homosexual a ministerial portfolio is irresponsible and cynical in the extreme. The very fact that the minister is openly gay should disqualify him from any serious posting except in the health field in which he might qualify as a field representative poling the extensive variety of exotic STDs that afflict the "gay" community. Pity the poor homosexuals. They try to turn nature on its head and nature has taken an awful revenge.
00:16 August 17, 2010 by Prufrock2010
So you're a homophobe and a bigot. You've now made that clear. I don't pity the homosexuals. I pity the intolerant and ignorant fools like you. End of discussion.
10:29 August 17, 2010 by whatzup
You can call me all the names you want but it won't hide the fact that you're as confused as Westerwelle. By the way its not up to you to close this discussion. If you don't participate the show is over? Hello? Are you the only one allowed to comment on this website? Its typical of politically correct pinheads like yourself to assume that you have the only worthwhile opinion.
11:09 August 17, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Strictly as between your opinion and mine, my opinion IS the only worthwhile one, as your opinion is based on ignorance, intolerance, hate, fear and Freudian projection. You would fit in comfortably with the Taliban.
12:16 August 17, 2010 by whatzup
Looks like the discussion isn't over. Great. Your pc rant can only sound increasingly silly . I don't hate or fear homosexuals but I do pity them for the heavy burden they have to carry - disease, society's approbation, statistically earlier death and a basic misunderstanding of what life is all about. You my friend would fit in comfortably with Nero and the dissolute of a disintegrating Roman empire.
02:15 August 18, 2010 by Prufrock2010
You can't walk that dog back by stating "I don't hate or fear homosexuals but I do pity them for the heavy burden they have to carry - disease, society's approbation, statistically earlier death and a basic misunderstanding of what life is all about." Your previous posts speak for themselves.

Actually, you punctuate your bigotry with demonstrably false information seasoned with unsupportable propaganda. To wit, "the heavy burden they have to carry."

Disease: You're obviously referring to HIV / AIDS as though it is an exclusively homosexual disease. That's a canard from the early '80s that has been thoroughly debunked by medical professionals, sociologists, anthropologists and easily obtainable statistics. HiV is spread more by dirty needles than by homosexual conduct, but you gay-bashers still need scapegoats, don't you?

Society's approbation: In the civilized world, societal approbation only comes from the right wing fundamentalist crowd, of which I assume you are a member. In Europe homosexuality has been accepted for decades. Even in the heavily fundamentalist United States, polls indicate that the majority of the people at the very least don't give a damn. Even in California the Prop 8 crowd, led by fundamentalists and the Mormon Church, barely won a referendum which has been subsequently declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. The social opprobrium you describe is strictly among your own homophobic ilk.

Statistically earlier death: How about some facts to back up that claim?

Basic misunderstanding of what life is all about: Another unsupported thesis based in ignorance and hubris. To most people life is about happiness, productivity, love and fulfillment, free from the meddling of others in their personal affairs. Your attempt to impose your moral imperatives upon others, disguised as philosophical jargon, brands you as an uneducated demagogue, nothing more and nothing less. You are entitled to your opinions, however misguided, but you are not entitled to represent your opinions as facts. Nor are you entitled to tell other people how to live their private lives unless your freedoms are encroached by their sexual preferences. Like all zealots who weigh in on this issue, you cannot advance a single argument to show how someone else's sexuality in any way affects yours.
11:15 August 18, 2010 by whatzup
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
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