The former governing mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, mourns the loss of his partner. Jörn Kubicki died of heart failure on Saturday at the age of 54.
He had suffered from severe lung disease COPD for years and, according to Tagesspiegel information, was now infected with the coronavirus. First the “imageNewspaper reported.
Kubicki and Wowereit have been a couple since 1993. They came together when Wowereit was still the City Councilor of Tempelhof. After his partner moved into the House of Representatives in 1995, the neurologist Kubicki silently accompanied Wowereit’s rise in Berlin politics.
Their relationship became known nationwide through an SPD party conference in June 2001, when Wowereit made his homosexuality public when he was nominated for the post of governing mayor. Back then, that was considered risky for a top politician. All the more, Wowereit’s sentence “I’m gay, and that’s a good thing” was widely felt to be liberating. It was the first active outing of a top politician and has remained one of his most famous statements to this day. “This quote was not in my speech manuscript, but of course I still planned such a sentence,” he later told Tagesspiegel.
Since then, Kubicki and Wowereit have performed together at many events without the man on the side of the governing party having crowded into the public eye. Even after Wowereit’s resignation in 2014, they were seen again and again in Berlin society.
Wowereit was not the only politician Kubicki was associated with. His second cousin was the free democrat and Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki.
“Jörn was straightforward and sincere”
The news of death caused great dismay. Numerous companions expressed their sympathy. “Sad news, Jörn was straightforward and sincere,” tweeted the Green politician Renate Künast, who had tried at the Berlin election in 2011 to contest the power of the governing mayor.
“Dear Klaus, my heartfelt condolences. That is bitter, ”wrote her party friend Volker Beck on Twitter. The Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation, which campaigns against discrimination against homosexuals, also took part.
“In your thoughts, dear Klaus Wowereit!” Tweeted the Vice President of the European Parliament, the SPD politician Katarina Barley. Numerous expressions of sympathy also came from Berlin’s state politics, including the SPD interior politician Tom Schreiber, the FDP parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives Sebastian Czaja, and the state chairwoman of the Greens, Nina Stahr.
“Dear Klaus Wowereit, during these difficult hours my thoughts are with you,” wrote Berlin CDU boss Kai Wegner. “I would have wished you so much time together. I am sorry that you were no longer allowed to do this. “
The opinion of the Queer working group of the Berlin SPD on the death of Kubicki showed the importance of Wowereit’s legendary sentence and the open coexistence of the couple for lesbians and gays. “Klaus and Jörn were a symbol of hope in times when our love received little respect, especially for a lot of people, but especially for our queer community,” wrote the working group on Twitter. “Your courage has paved the way for equality for us. We as SPDqueer Berlin, we Berliners, will never forget that and bow our gratitude. ” (Tsp)