News (World)

Germany’s foreign minister ‘marries’ longtime partner

Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle has formalized his union with his longtime partner Michael Mronz in a private ceremony in Bonn on Friday, the daily newspaper Bild announced in its Saturday edition.

Westerwelle, left, and Mronz

Although only close family were present for the ceremony, media reports say the Mayor of Bonn officiated the couple’s union.

In Germany, gay marriage is not recognized by the state, but since 2001 “registered partnerships” for same-sex couples are allowed, which provide some but not all the rights of marriage.

According to news magazine Der Spiegel, a spokesman from the liberal Free Democratic Party, which Westerwelle leads, confirmed the report, but would not give any further details. “Michael Mronz and Guido Westerwelle see this as a private matter,” the spokesman said.

Westerwelle, 48, and his 43-year old partner Mronz, who organizes sporting events, met in 2003 and have been a couple ever since.

The foreign minister “came out” in 2004, during a dinner event celebrating German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 50th birthday.

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