Ireland Elects Openly Gay Prime Minister
Ireland made history today by electing openly gay politician, Leo Varadkar, as the country's new Prime Minister.
Varadkar is the world's fourth openly gay world leader.
Globe and Mail reports:
He’s the gay son of an Indian immigrant and an Irish nurse who draws comparisons to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and is set to smash just about every preconception of Ireland.
Leo Varadkar is on track to take over the leadership of Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael Party on Friday, making him the next Taoiseach or Prime Minister. He’s not only gay and a visible minority, he’s also just 38 years old, meaning he’ll be the youngest Prime Minister in Irish history.
It’s a remarkable turn of events in this socially conservative country that only decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, didn’t allow divorce until 1996 and still has Europe’s toughest laws against abortion. But as the country shakes off much of its traditional past, Ireland is joining several other European countries in turning toward a youthful leader who embraces the European Union and is moving away from traditional political labels.
“It’s a dramatic generational shift,” said Noel Whelan, a political analyst in Dublin. “He has the potential to be transformative for the political fortunes of Fine Gael and of the Irish political system in general.”
More from Irish Times:
Varadkar’s sexual orientation, along with his part-Indian parentage, has already been seized upon by international media as a signifier of Ireland’s supposed transition from conservative traditionalism to liberal modernity.
“Ireland, a devoutly Catholic country that decriminalised homosexuality only 24 years ago, is poised to elect its first openly gay prime minister next month,” wrote the New York Post.
“It would be a monumental piece of history for the once-staunchly Catholic country,” wrote Gay News in the UK.