Ireland Elects Its First Openly Gay Prime Minister

The Logical Indian Crew

June 15th, 2017 / 4:55 PM

First Gay Prime Minister

Source: The Guardian | Image Credit: The Guardian

38-year-old openly gay Leo Varadkar, the son of an Indian immigrant, has become formally elected Prime Minister (PM) – or Taoiseach – of Ireland.

His election follows the resignation of former PM Enda Kenny and a leadership contest to win the reins of Fine Gael, the ruling party of Ireland.

Varadkar will also be the youngest leader in Irish history and the European Union.


Varadkar joins small list of openly gay world leaders

Many politicians around the world are openly gay. However, currently, including Varadkar, only four heads of state/government are openly gay.

The other three are:

  • Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir of Iceland,
  • Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo of Belgium,
  • Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg.

Varadkar’s challenges

Varadkar, a former Minister for Health and Social Protection, will steer Ireland during a time when the European Union (EU) recovers from economic turmoil, unemployment, and Brexit.

Being the only EU country with a land border with the United Kingdom, Ireland will face unique challenges in ensuring less transparent borders with Northern Ireland, which is a part of the UK and has historically been a region of conflict.

The first world leader he will call as soon as he takes oath as Prime Minister will reportedly be Theresa May of the UK, to discuss the upcoming Brexit talks to convey condolences over the Grenfell fire that raged in west London.

Another major challenge for the new Irish leader will be growing calls to loosen Ireland’s stringent laws on abortion. Presently, under the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, a foetus has equal citizenship as any adult citizen.

Varadkar is a conservative when it comes to abortion, and pro-choice activists have admonished his track record on women’s rights, saying his election would mean stagnation of Ireland’s mission to liberalise abortion. A change to the country’s abortion laws would mean a change to the eighth amendment, which would mean a national referendum on the issue.

Varadkar has also made history be being the country’s first openly gay PM, something truly appreciable for the Catholic country, which legalised same-sex marriages only in 2015 through a national referendum.

Varadkar’s father hails from Mumbai, India. He met Varadkar’s mother when they were working in an English hospital in the 1960s.

Varadkar will also become the youngest national leader in the EU. He is also one of only three EU leaders who are under 40, with the other two being France’s Emmanuel Macron, 39, and Estonia’s Jüri Ratas, 38.


Contributors

Written by :

Edited by :

Related Stories

1396 URLs Spreading Child Abuse Openly Available On Twitter: Report

Same Sex Marriage Abortion Legal

Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion Now Legal In Northern Ireland As Parliament Scraps 19th Century Laws

World Menstruation day

‘Broadening Understanding About Menstruation’: Talk Openly To Both Girls & Boys

Ashok Rao Kavi

“Don’t Need To Dissociate Myself From My Religion To Be A Gay,” One Of India’s First Gay Rights Activists

Madhav Gadgil

Interview: “State Govts Openly Flouting Environmental Laws,” Says Prof Gadgil Who Predicted Kerala Floods

How Ireland’s Referendum To Legalise Abortion Is A Justice For Indian Dentist Savita Halappanavar

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Over 1500 Migratory Birds Found Dead Around Sambhar Lake, Botulism Suspected To Be The Cause

News

‘Lord Ram Is Ancestor Of All’ Says Shia Waqf Board Chairman, Donates Rs 51000 For Temple In Ayodhya

News

‘Economy Doing Fine’, Airports Are Full, People Are Getting Married: Union Minister, Suresh Angadi

My Story

My Story: “I Lost My Father To A Brutal Murder On November 18, 2017. A Part Of Me Died With Him”

Legal

‘Mere Registration Is No Proof Of Marriage’: SC Rules

My Social Responsibility

Educating Cab Drivers On Necessary Matters Related To Banks, This Woman Entrepreneur Is Making Them Financially Literate

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.