The Openly gay leader of Germany’s pro-business Free Democrat Party Guido Westerwelle is the most likely candidate for the office of vice chancellor and foreign minister in the country. Westerwelle met with recently reelected German chancellor and Christian Democrat Angela Merkel to allegedly discuss an alliance between the two parties.
On September 29, the Associated Press reported that Westerwelle has been out since 2004, when he brought his partner, Michael Mronz, to Merkel’s 50th birthday party. Mronz is an event manager who has served as campaign adviser to Westerwelle.
“I can only tell all young gays and lesbians to not be disheartened, if not everything goes their way,” Westerwelle told Siegessaeule, a Berlin-based gay magazine, according to the AP. “This society is changing for the good in the direction of tolerance and respect…though slower than I would wish.”
The Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany hopes Westerwelle’s election will be a catalyst for gay rights in the country. “We think it’s awesome that it has become so normal that an openly gay man becomes foreign minister,” Klaus Jetz, the leader of the association, told the AP.