German tabloid Bild is reporting
that Guido Westerwelle, the country's openly gay foreign minister,
has “married” his 43-year-old partner, event manager Michael
With the headline Secret Wedding, the
paper reported that the couple entered a civil partnership in
Westerwelle's home town of Bonn on Friday. The ceremony was presided
over by Bonn Mayor Juergen Nimptsch and only close friends and family
attended, the newspaper said.
Civil partnerships offer gay and
lesbian couples some but not all the rights of marriage.
According to media accounts, the two
men met in 2003 and were first seen together attending Chancellor
Angela Merkel's 50th birthday party in 2004. The couple
has been crowned a “power couple” by Germany's media.
Westerwelle, the 48-year-old leader of
the pro-business Free Democrats, was appointed foreign minister last
A spokesman for the Free Democrats
reportedly has confirmed the report, but would not comment any
Other high-profile, openly gay
politicians in Germany include Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit and former
Hamburg Mayor Ole von Beust.
Westerwelle presided over last month's
opening ceremony for the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne's RheinEnergie