Well obviously if there was a clear risk to the life or safety of his partner then he’s right not to bring him to savagely backward countries like Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
However he’s the German Foreign Minister – there is zero chance that he’d be at risk for his sexuality.
He SHOULD bring his partner to these countries. He is making a fool of himself by his behaviour.
When he goee to these countries does raise these countries’ savagae homophobia every time he meets a dignitary?
It is a capital offence only in the Nuslims states in Nigeria. It is not so throughout the country, where, along with adultery, it is punishable by imprisonment, but not enforced.
“However he’s the German Foreign Minister – there is zero chance that he’d be at risk for his sexuality. ”
Yes, but his partner might, and i wouldn’t take my partner to a country where there’s a chance he could be arrested or attacked in the street.
“Such obtuse statements risk leaving Mr Westerwelle open to accusations of placing cultural relativism above human rights.”
Pink News is right.
“Yes, but his partner might, and i wouldn’t take my partner to a country where there’s a chance he could be arrested or attacked in the street.”
The husband of the German Foreign Minister will not be wandering the streets of Nigeria or Yemen on their own.
In a similar manner the wife of William Hague will not be wandering the streets of whatever country they are visiting on her own.
They will be accompanying their spouses.
A high profile diplomatic visit like this is painstakingly organised, and there is a specific agenda.
There is zero risk to this man’s partner. But it would be a very useful and high profile way to point out to savage countries like Nigeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia etc, that their savagery has no place in the modern world.
I think he’s setting a very good example… when in Rome, do as the Romans do… when I am in your country, I won’t act in a way that offends your culture… when you come to my country, please act likewise….
“I think he’s setting a very good example… when in Rome, do as the Romans do… when I am in your country, I won’t act in a way that offends your culture… when you come to my country, please act likewise….”
I don’t think you’ll catch David Cameron insisting that the wive(s) of some Saudi prince discard their burqa if they come to visit the UK.
That would be regarded as unacceptable.
So your analogy does not really work.
If it unacceptable to expct a Saudi prince bring only 1 of his wives to Britain (polygamy is illegal in Britain) and that she must display her face, then equally it is unacceptable to expect the German Foreign Minister to leave his husband at home.
Germany is Europe’s biggest economy (bigger than Britain’s even). He should insist on being treated in the same manner as William Hague and his wife get treated.
He has done nothing for gay or civil rights in Germany. His party wont be reelected.
He shouldn’t try to impose our laws to any country, but as gladyolis said, others do not respect the laws of our countries, where discrimination against women or polygamy are illegal, so why shouldn’t we not show that our countries have made progress in civil rights?
If ultraconservative Muslim countries can deal with female dignitaries, then they can deal with a gay man appearing in public with his partner. You can make a reasonable effort to respect local customs without sacrificing your principles and your dignity in the process.
“I think it is important that we live by our own standards of tolerance and that we do not sometimes adopt less tolerant standards as our own”
He also added that he didn’t want to achieve the opposite of tolerance by “acting thoughtlessly”.
PinkNews’ analysis that his “obtuse statements risk leaving Mr Westerwelle open to accusations of placing cultural relativism above human rights” are both appropriate and humorous – qualities some commentators appear to be lacking.
Simon Murphy, and chris (#11), I couldn’t agree more. It’s disappointing that Westerwelle has chosen to wimp out like this (though didn’t he take his partner with him to Russia? Hardly the most gay-friendly of cultures).
It could just as easily give the impression that he’s ashamed of being in a gay relationship.
Of course it could be that his partner actuially doesn’t want to go to any of those countries with him.
The thought of being dragged round Yemen in a bullet proof Mitsubishi for a week wouldn’t exactly appeal to me. The shopping isn’t up to much and the nightlife stinks.
That’s very true, SMC. On the other hand, maybe he wouldn’t see a trip to Yemen as an opportunity to shop or experience ‘nightlife’.
Rehan – I think that might be reading too much into it – mostly I just get the impression that the guy’s in over his head with this job.
You’ve hit the ball out the park! Inceirdble!