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Former German Minister of Foreign Affairs Dies of Leukemia
(Blogmensgo, gay blog vom 22. März 2016) On March 18, 2016, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chancellor Guido Westerwelle died at the age of 54 years of leukemia. He was one of the first high-ranking German politicians to make his homosexuality public.
As early as 2004, Guido Westerwelle publicly declared his homosexuality, which was one year after former Governing Mayor of Hamburg, Ole von Beust, was outed, and three years after former Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, had come out of the closet. Of these three lawyers-turned-politicians, only Westerwelle reached a function in the German federal government and became the first openly gay Minister of Foreign Affairs (2009-2013).
On September 17, 2010, which was 11 months after taking office as Foreign Minister in Ms Merkel’s government, he had his partnership with longtime companion Michael Mronz registered. Even before this official step, Mronz used to accompany him on official missions. However, this was criticized at times because Mronz, a sports manager, used these official trips for his own professional purposes.
With his charming yet provocative personality, Westerwelle made a contribution to “normalizing” homosexuality in today’s society. Incidentally, even after taking office as Foreign Minister, he always refused to travel to countries where homosexuals were not accepted or even oppressed.
These days, Westerwelle’s personal website only shows his name and his photo. His charitable organization, the Westerwelle Foundation, shows his photo with a mourning band as a symbol of grief on its website, and only displays a black band on its Facebook page.
In June 2015, the Westerwelle Foundation, which fights for strengthening democracies mainly in Africa, had announced that its founder was suffering of leukemia and receiving treatment. In his remaining time, he was able to write a book about his fight against the disease, which was published in the fall of 2015.