Xavier Bettel, the mayor of Luxembourg City, has officially been appointed prime minister designate by Grand Duke Henri, the country’s head of state. This means he’s in charge of forming a coalition government with the Greens and Socialists and if all goes to plan he’ll become prime minister within the next few weeks.
The 40-year-old is due to become the European Union’s second openly gay PM after Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo. Mr Bettel, of Luxembourg’s Democratic Party, told Buzzfeed: “My vice-prime minister is gay as well.”
He was referring to Etienne Schneider, the openly gay leader of Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSDP). Negotiations are already taking place between Mr Bettel and Mr Schneider, along with the Greens, in forming a new coalition government.
Mr Bettel also wants Luxembourg to legalise equal marriage in 2014. “Gay weddings with be done forthly. At the moment in Luxembourg, we have to go through the situation of weddings, religion and divorce laws. But I don’t think it’ll be in the next five years – it’ll be next year.”
Mr Bettel said attitudes in Luxembourg had shifted substantially in recent years – to a point where sexual orientation was no longer an issue for most of the country’s voters.
“You have to prove that you do not have to fulfil cliches and be how you think you should be. People don’t care what you do at the end of the day.”
The world’s first openly gay prime minister was Iceland’s Johanna Sigurdardottir in 2009. She left office this year in April.
Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo became the European Union’s first openly gay prime minister in December 2011.
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