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Gay News : Publications : Issue 311 : Leo Varadkar New Prime Minister of Ireland

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Leo Varadkar New Prime Minister of Ireland

by Ediorial Staff in General , 27 juni 2017

Leo Varadkar is the new Prime Minister (PM) of the Republic of Ireland. This makes him the youngest Irish PM ever with a migrant background as well as being openly gay. Varadkar came out of the closet in 2015, four months prior to the referendum in which a majority of the Irish voted in favour of the opening up of marriage for same-sex couples.

He is 38-years-old, a doctor, a Member of Parliament since 2007, Minister of Social Affairs since 2011, and the son of an Indian immigrant and an Irish mother.

“If someone of my age, with my mixed origin and all things that make up my personality, can become the leader of our country, its sends out a powerful message to all the children in this country that there is no office they cannot strive for,” Varadkar stated early June.

Leo Varadkar was elected the new leader of the government party Fine Gael, succeeding the 66-year-old Enda Kenny. In the battle to become the new PM, Varadkar as the Minister of Social Affairs beat the Minister for Housing Simon Coveney (1972).

According to various media, the choice for the young migrant son and openly homosexual Varadkar is a sign of modernization and liberalization of the predominantly Catholic Ireland. It should be noted, however, that Varadkar himself is considered to be part of the right wing of the centre-right Fine Gael.

Leo Varadkar is the fifth government leader that is out of the closet. The first one was the Icelandic PM Johanna Sigurdardottir (2009-2013), followed by the Belgian PM Elio di Rupo (2011-2014), Chief Minister Allan Bell of the Isle of Man (2011-2016), and Xavier Bettel, PM of Luxembourg since 2013.

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