Gay foreign minister treads softly abroad

LAST OCTOBER, GERMAN POLITICIAN Guido Westerwelle grabbed world headlines when he was appointed as the world’s first openly gay foreign minister. In January, he nearly provoked a diplomatic incident by insisting on making a state visit to Japan with his long-time partner, German sport manager Michael Mronz, at his side. The confused Japanese protocol officers quietly decided to offered Mronz its standard “lady’s program” of official sightseeing and museum visits in the company of the Japanese prime minister’s wife. (I already wrote extensively about Westerwelle and Mronz in my essay “When the Minister’s Wife is a Man.”) The press got a good story out of the trip and it looked as if Westerwelle…

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