Ireland Elects First Gay Prime Minister Leo Varadkar

Peter Morrison
Peter Morrison/AP

If you thought the gayest thing about Ireland was the leprechauns at the end of the rainbow, we have an update. The country just made history by officially electing Leo Varadkar, their youngest, gayest prime minister ever. Well, it’s actually their first openly gay prime minister so there’s really no competition, but history is history. 

The 38-year-old son of an Irish nurse and a doctor from India was officially sworn in this week as Ireland’s taioseach, which is the fabulous name they use for the PM there. The Irish Parliament confirmed him by 57 votes to 50, while 45 abstained from the vote. Varadkar, who was first elected as a councillor at the age of 24, came out publicly in 2015 ahead of the nation’s same-sex marriage referendum, stating, “I just kind of want to be honest with people. I don't want anyone to think that I have a hidden agenda."

Alongside Emmanual Macron’s presidential victory in France, Varadkar’s win in Ireland represents a youthful, diverse shift within the European Union that wasn’t lost on the leader as he made his first speech after being sworn in. "The government I lead will be one of the new European centre as we seek to build a republic of opportunity,” he said. “I've been elected to lead but I promise to serve."

 

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