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Guido Westerwelle, the gay foreign minister and vice chancellor of Germany, will preside over the 2010 Gay Games opening ceremony in Cologne on July 31.
Westerwelle, the first openly gay person to hold either the foreign minister or vice chancellor position, also has agreed to become an "official patron" of Gay Games VIII, according to a news release from the Gay Games.
"Guido Westerwelle has been the Chairman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) since 2001, and previously was the party's General Secretary," said the release. "On 28 October 2009 German Chancellor Angela Merkel named him the country's foreign minister and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the first openly gay person to hold either office. He holds a law degree from Bonn University and has been an active member of the FDP since 1980. Dr. Westerwelle has been openly gay in his political life since he ascended to the chairmanship of the FDP in 2001."
More than 12,000 out athletes from 70 countries are expected to compete in the Gay Games in Cologne from July 31 through August 7.