Klaus Wowereit

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Klaus Wowereit, 2012

Klaus Wowereit (born 1 October 1953) is a German politician. He was born in Berlin. He has been the SPD Governing Mayor of Berlin since 2001. He and his party won 31.4% of the votes in the 2001 state elections, and he started a coalition government with Linkspartei.PDS. He was President of the Bundesrat in 2001/02. He was re-elected as Governing Mayor in 2006, and has carried on the coalition.

He supports Kurt Beck as "Kanzlerkandidat", the SPDs nominee for the Chancellorship of Germany. Many people wanted Wowereit to be the candidate, not so many after he decided to stay in coalition with Die Linke after the 2006 elections.

He is openly gay.[1]

Background[change | edit source]

Klaus Wowereit attended the Ulrich-von-Hutten-Oberschule in Berlin until 1973. He went on to study law at the Free University Berlin, passing his first State Exams in 1981 and the second set in 1984.

Political career[change | edit source]

After university Wowereit spent three years as a civil servant in the Senate Office (that is, Ministry) of the Interior. At the age of 30, he was became the youngest councillor in the city of Berlin when he was elected a councillor of Tempelhof Borough. After eleven years he stood for the Berlin House of Deputies Abgeordnetenhaus which is City's Landtag or state legislature in 1995. In December 1999, he was elected chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Abgeordnetenhaus. Since June 2001 he has served as Governing Mayor, Regierender Bürgermeister, of Berlin.

Sexual orientation[change | edit source]

Wowereit is one of the most famous German politicians who has openly declared himself homosexual. He came out at a convention of the Berlin SPD just before the 2001 mayoral elections, when he said "Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so." ("I am gay, and it's good that way".) This is now a famous quotation in Germany. He probably came out so that the tabloid newspapers could not publish what they thought were embarrassing stories about him.

Wowereit is not the only gay mayor of a large European city. Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, is openly gay, and Ole von Beust, the former mayor of Hamburg, is also gay.[2]

In September 2007, Wowereit published an autobiography called "...und das ist auch gut so.", after his famous coming out phrase.[3]

Notes and references[change | edit source]

  1. Social Democrats win Berlin elections
  2. While Beust's father has confirmed his son's homosexuality in an interview, Beust himself considers his sexual orientation a private matter and when asked directly usually ironically refers the questioner to his father.
  3. * Klaus Wowereit: ... und das ist auch gut so : mein Leben für die Politik Blessing, München 2007, ISBN 3-89667-334-3

Other websites[change | edit source]

Preceded by
Eberhard Diepgen
Mayor of Berlin
2001-
Succeeded by
incumbent