Germany’s Environment Minister has come out as a lesbian.
While some maintain Barbara Hendrick’s sexuality was an ‘open secret,’ the 61-year-old minister officially came out in a recent interview with Rheinische Post.
When asked what she had planned for New Year’s Eve, Hendrick revealed she would be celebrating with her partner in Berlin.
‘We will take a bottle of champagne and a pair of glasses in the backpack to bring in 2014 trigger.’
The member of the Social Democratic party has kept her personal life private, but has been a vocal supporter of LGBTI rights in Parliament.
Human Rights Watch Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich told Gay Star News Hendricks coming out is important because ‘it shows that you can be a minister in Germany without hiding your sexual orientation from the public eye. Thus Hendricks can be a role model just like Guido Westerwelle was in the previous government.’
‘It does not make her a better minister, but it will help the general audience to accept homosexuality,’ he added.
‘Having said this, Human Rights Watch is disappointed that the new coalition did not agree to introduce marriage equality in Germany. In this respect the new grand coalition missed a great opportunity to close the gap with bordering countries like Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.’