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Home News Berlin mayor in trouble for supporting fetish fest

Berlin mayor in trouble for supporting fetish fest

Published on 30/08/2005

30 August 2005

BERLIN – Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit has been sharply criticised by the opposition CDU party for supporting a street party for leather and fetish enthusiasts in Berlin by writing a welcome letter for its programme.

The event lies “beyond good morality” said CDU general secretary Frank Henkel in remarks quoted by Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel on Tuesday. Wowereit was not fulfilling his function as a role model by writing the letter, Henkel said.

The row has been caused by ‘Folsom Europe’ which will take place on 3 September for the second time in Berlin. A flyer produced for the street party and its accompanying club nights shows a drawing of a man chained to a urinal, clad only in a black leather slip and army boots and wearing a gasmask.

In his welcome, Wowereit, who is himself openly gay and was recently featured on the cover of Time magazine, wrote “The first weekend in September stands for pure joie de vivre.”

15,000 leather and fetish enthusiasts from around the world, including the German Association of Lesbian and Gay Police Officers, are expected for the event, which was inspired by the ‘Folsom Street Fair’ in San Francisco. The party is supported by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) and tourist organisation Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH, and has Beck’s beer as one of its main sponsors.

In response to the criticism, Wowereit said that he stands by his welcome letter, and that the party fits with Berlin’s image of an open, tolerant metropolis.

However an editorial in Der Tagesspiegel is sharply critical of the mayor, describing the event as sadomasochistic and therefore beyond the limits of tolerance. “At the very least, the representative of this city should in no way be promoting a cult of violence,” the newspaper said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: German news