Germany’s Top TV Journalist Anne Will Comes Out

on

Anne

Will, the 41-year-old
former anchorwoman of Germany’s most popular

evening news show Tagesthemen, and current host of her own top-rated

political talk show Anne Will, officially came out at an event at the

Jewish Museum in Berlin this weekend by publicly acknowledging her five-year

relationship with Professor Miriam Meckel, 40.

"Yes we are a couple," she told reporters before posing under the

museum’s slogan, "Tolerance and Understanding", "but we would

like to keep our private life private."

The relationship between Will, a top political TV journalist in Germany who

has become a national celebrity, and Meckel, a well-known media expert, has

been widely speculated about in the media for some time, in part because the

women have made little effort to hide their relationship. They attended the

Federal Press Ball — Germany’s most important social event — together

in 2002, and dined with the Queen of the United Kingdom in 2004.

But they have always declined to publicly confirm or comment on their relationship,

until now.

Will rose to fame in the ’90s as the host of various talk and sports shows,

and was a television announcer for the 2000 Summer Olympics. She co-hosted Tagesthemen

with Tom Buhrow from April 2001 to June 2007, reporting on national and political

news and interviewing politicians like U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

(read

an English transcript here
).

Will left the nightly news show to host her own political

talk show
on September 16th of this year, taking over for the previous host,

Sabine Christiansen.

Meckel is currently Professor for Corporate Communication and Director of the

Institute for Media and Communication Management at the University of St. Gallen

in Switzerland. She was a journalist before becoming the youngest university

professor in Germany in 1999.

Will and Meckel’s revelation has made national

headlines
in Germany in the last day, with newspapers touting the women

as one of the nation’s power couples.

In the wake of the announcement, Will’s employer issued a public

statement
supporting Will, maintaining they were only concerned with her

talent as a journalist, which has been "firmly established" by her

success.

In 2001, Germany instituted a form of civil unions, and then in 2004, granted

gay and lesbian partners adoption rights. According to a December

2006 poll
, over 52% of the nation supports granting same-sex couples full

marriage rights, although the nation has yet to do so.

There are a handful of out high-profile gay men in Germany, including the mayor

of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, who came out in 2001 prior to the mayoral elections,

and Hamburg’s mayor, Ole von Beust.

But Will and Meckel are among only a very few high-profile openly gay or bisexual women in Germany, especially in politics.

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