Gay lawmaker Jens Spahn running to succeed Angela Merkel

German Health Minister Jens Spahn stands behind Chancellor Angela Merkel

Gay politician Jens Spahn is in the running to succeed Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Spahn, 38, has thrown his hat in the ring to succeed Merkel as the head of the right-wing Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.

Germany’s long-serving leader Angela Merkel plans to stand down as chancellor at the next German federal election in 2021 after 16 years in the role. She will be replaced as head of the CDU in December 2018 to prepare for her exit as chancellor.

Jens Spahn of the CDU

German Health Minister and leading member of the German Christian Democrats (CDU) Jens Spahn (Sean Gallup/Getty)

Spahn, who has served in the Merkel cabinet as Minister of Health since March 2018, has declared his candidacy to become CDU leader. He will face Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Friedrich Merz in the race.

The right-wing lawmaker, who came out in 2012, married husband Daniel Funke in December 2017 just months after same-sex marriage was greenlit in the country.

Jens Spahn would be Germany’s second out party leader

If elected, he would become the first out leader of the CDU, but not Germany’s first out political leader.

The far-right Alternative für Deutschland party is already led in the Bundestag by Alice Weidel, who is a lesbian.

AfD holds 92 seats in the Bundestag, compared to 246 for the CDU and its Bavarian sister party the CSU.

AfD leaders Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel

AfD leaders Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel (Getty)

Weidel was one of the AfD’s two candidates for chancellor in 2017, but she has distanced herself from the LGBT+ community and  attracted controversy for her extreme anti-Islam views.

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