• Germany edition
 
Westerwelle won't take partner to anti-gay lands
Photo: DPA

Westerwelle won't take partner to anti-gay lands

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

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.
Today's headlines
Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret
The judges of the Supreme Court announce their decision about weapons exports on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret

The government can keep arms deals secret and only tell the public about them after contracts have been signed, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Cash returned after bakery mix-up

Cash returned after bakery mix-up

Just how honest would you have to be to return €7,500 that you found in a box supposed to contain your favourite cheesecake? READ  

Expat's family battles for answers four years on
Matthew Fitzpatrick died in 2010 in Mannheim. Photo: Fitzpatrick family

Expat's family battles for answers four years on

In 2010 an Irish computer engineer was found dead in his apartment in Baden-Württemberg. Four years on, his family are still pressing the German justice system for answers. They feel badly let down by police who they say have refused to examine evidence of foul play. READ  

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel
Photo: DPA

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel

Around 160 car owners are stuck after a gas station's storage tanks were filled with the wrong fuel, causing an estimated €100,000 in damage. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights

UPDATE: In the second day of their strike, Lufthansa pilots have, as promised, extended their industrial action to include long-haul international flights until the end of Tuesday. READ  

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called on Ukraine's allies to help the war-scarred nation pay off its gas debts to Russia, amid concern over gas supplies this winter. READ  

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force
Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks at the World Health Summit in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force

At the World Health Summit in Berlin, the Ebola crisis took centre stage at talks meant to create plans for how to handle future outbreaks. READ  

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of
The Wiesbaden Museum in Hesse. Photo: DPA

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of

The Wiesbaden Museum was once a collection house for art stolen from Jewish owners by the Nazi. With one painting, they hope to right at least one wrong while bringing awareness to its ongoing restitution work. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'It's only an internship if you're learning'

'It's only an internship if you're learning'

How long should an intern work for without being paid? At least eight months, according to a ruling by a court in western Germany last week. JobTalk looks at the warning signs for abusive internships. READ  

Single parents, common law families on rise
Photo: DPA

Single parents, common law families on rise

The German family structure is changing, with nearly a third of every family no longer living in the "classic model" and big differences in what family looks like in the former East and West, statistics agency Destatis announced on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Travel
This is the man who has stopped Germany's trains
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Expats: Should I stay or should I go?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Which expat foods do you miss the most?
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,471
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd