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04/19/2007


Germany Fires Back at Belarussian President Lukashenko After Attack on Gay Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle

Over the weekend Brandon reported on the latest homophobic remarks from Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus. Lukashenko attacked German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's sexuality after a European Union censure during which Westerwelle referred to Lukashenko as a dictator.

LukashenkoSaid Lukashenko: "Better to be a dictator than gay."

Now, Germany is firing back, Reuters reports:

Said Foreign Office spokesman Andreas Peschke: "Unfortunately, these comments speak for themselves. They say a lot about the mind-set of the person making them."

Added German government spokesman Steffen Seibert: "Unfortunately (Lukaschenko's comment) shows very clearly the position that the Belarussian president takes in relation to basic rights. It's interesting to find out this way that Mr Lukashenko too now classes himself as a dictator...That by the way is a view that the federal government reached some time ago and on which the Belarussian president delivers proof almost daily"

It is not the first time Lukashenko has directed anti-gay ire at Westerwelle. Last year, he told reporters he dislikes "faggots" as he confirmed to them that he told Westerwelle that he needed "to live a normal life."


German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Ties Knot with Partner Michael Mronz in Civil Partnership

Power

Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister, entered into a civil partnership with his partner Michael Mronz, the German newspaper Bild reports.

According to Bild, the ceremony was conducted by Bonn Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch was held in Bonn. Westerwelle Mronz and both wore dark suits, the FDP leader a light blue tie, his husband, a yellow-green tie. Approximately 20 people, close family and friends, witnessed the ceremony.

Germany's civil partnerships provide all the rights of marriage except except joint adoption and full tax benefits.

(image taken following Angela Merkel's 2009 election win)


German Delegation to China Includes Gay Foreign Minister's Partner

Westwerwelle

Here's a sight you don't see very often. It's a photograph of Germany's new gay foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and the delegation he brought with him on a trip to meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Westerwelle is in the middle with the purple tie. To his right is his partner, Michael Mronz (a marketing executive working in the private sector).

Shanghaiist reports: "Xinhua's report on Westerwelle's visit was unsurprisingly silent on the surprise appearance by Mronz, going so far as to say that Westerwelle was' accompanied by a number of German parliamentarians and a business delegation'."


New Gay Foreign Minister and Partner are Germany's 'Power Couple'

Power

The German daily Bild is feting the likely new foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle (right), and his partner Michael Mronz, as the nation's new "power couple" following Angela Merkel's election win.

The AP reports: "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."

Said Westerwelle to German gay magazine Siegessaeule: "I can only tell all young gays and lesbians to not be disheartened, if not everything goes their way. This society is changing for the good in the direction of tolerance and respect ... though slower than I would wish."


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