Gauck was born in Rostock in Nazi Germany, spent most of his adult life in the German Democratic Republic and is now President of a united Federal Republic.
He ministered as a Lutheran pastor in his home town of Rostock on the Baltic Sea.
In an interview with The Irish Times last week when speaking about the Irish marriage referendum he said:
" I thus hope that Germany can also have a stronger debate in which people are not overwhelmed by a feeling that equality between themselves and others is taking something away from them or posing a threat to their own way of life."
Germany introduced civil partnerships for gay couples n 2001.