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Let’s Cheer Our Own! A World First – Two Openly Gay Men Will Lead A Country

by Jean Ann Esselink on December 5, 2013

in International,Jean Ann Esselink

Post image for Let’s Cheer Our Own! A World First – Two Openly Gay Men Will Lead A Country

For the first time in history, a country will have an openly gay man as both its prime minister and its vice prime minister.

Xavier Bettel was sworn in yesterday as Luxembourg’s prime minister, making the former talk show host Europe’s first openly gay prime minister. (And before you leave me nasty comments, Bettel is Europe’s third openly gay head of state, Iceland has had a gay premier in the past, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, and Belgium’s current premier, Elio Di Rupo, is gay.)

Prime Minister Bettel is a member of the Democratic Party, but since the Democrats don’t have enough seats to claim a majority, Bettel has formed a coalition government with the Greens and Socialist parties.  In that negotiation, Etienne Schneider, head of the Socialist party, was named deputy prime minister.

Etienne SchneiderSchneider (left) has an impressive resume himself. He was serving as Minister of the Economy when he was tapped to be second-in-command, and he was once managing director of the German energy company Enovos.

Like Prime Minister Battel, Etienne Schneider is also openly gay.

This gives Luxembourg the distinction of being the first county in the world with gay men filling the top two spots in the government.

Gauthier DestenayXavier Bettel, who after his talk show gig served as mayor of Luxembourg City, is often accompanied to official (and unofficial) events by his hunky partner Gauthier Destenay. (Right)

“People do not consider the fact of whether someone is gay or not.” Bettel says of Luxembourg. “Sometimes it’s not easy because you have some conservative persons, but there are always less and less and less.’

Bettel said he hoped he hadn’t made his sexuality an issue that people voted for or against.

“I think people vote for my character and they vote for my full party,” He said. ‘They’re just happy to see that I’m happy too, because if you’re happy at home, people can feel it and see that you’re doing your job well.”

Gauthier Destenay and Prime Minister Bettel:

Xavier Bettel and Gauthier Destenay


So what’s on the agenda for Europe’s first gay prime minister? Marriage equality. Currently, Luxembourg does not allow same-sex marriages.

“Gay weddings will be done soon.” Prime Minister Bettel promised. “At the moment in Luxembourg, we have to change the situation of marriage, religion and divorce laws. But I don’t think it’ll be in the xavier bettel2next five years – it’ll be next year.”

One other interesting goal of Prime Minister Xavier Bettel? (right) He wants to remove biblical references in the public school curriculum and develop a course to teach children ethics without religion.

He sound like a keeper.



All photos are from Facebook

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colonelkira December 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Can you please stop calling it cheering "our own"? It is a divisive and hurtful statement.

ragefirewolf January 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm

How the hell is that even relevant or true?

dillonb1950 December 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm

There is tons of available curriculum that teaches "morality" without indoctrination and bible passages. It is called "Virtues Education projects" or Peace Education. It teaches the values of respect self, respecting others, kindness, tolerance, patience, humility and a host of other virtues.

ragefirewolf January 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Yes. Morality comes from empathy, not religion.

StanJames June 3, 2014 at 1:28 am

REligion has in many ways been a curse. The catholic church ran europe from about 400 to 1500AD , a period known as the dark ages while catholic kings in most nations did the popes bidding of absolute control, and a lord (note the word) and serf society

In America the non cath chritians bible justified slavery, making us, the most religious nation in the world and the second to last to end that vile instittuion, the only one to need a war to do so, and then we had segregation for another 100 years

Even the attacks by the right wingers on the ACA – Pr. Obama's attempt to undue America being the last western democracy without guaranteed medical care for all are nothing but the repubs pandering to their most consistent voting base – the white (old men) of the former confederacy

kinsey8 December 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm

While we're at it, is there no reference to Schneider's partner because he doesn't have one, or because his partner isn't "hunky"?

Why do gay men always have to talk like high school adolescents??

ilc808 December 5, 2013 at 11:58 pm

May I add a notice to all, Xavier Bettel is not Luxembourg's Head of State, he is the Head of Government! Grand Duke Henri is the current monarch and Head of State in Luxembourg.

This article also states that Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is a Head of State, she is not, she too is a Head of Government as Prime Minister of Iceland under Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, he is the Head of State.

Elio di Rupo as well, is a Head of Government as Prime Minister, under King Philippe who is the Head of State as the King of Belgium (officially titled King of the Belgians.)

Dr_Arthur_Ide January 16, 2014 at 7:59 pm

While there are errors in the article, the writer must be applauded for bringing to the LGBT community the reality that there are nations that are sane and accept people for who they are and what they can do for their nation and communities. I applaud the people of Luxembourg for knowing quality and not wondering or worrying about any official's private life. Gender, like color, height, weight, muscularity, or any other attribute is frivolous and irrelevant in a sane society, unlike the miscreants in Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, and other state governments that pathetically prance behind the curtain of self-righteousness.

StanJames June 3, 2014 at 1:35 am

cheers – i didnt realize that 3 heads of state/ or govt were gay. We have a long way to go now, these are ery small nations and I think that Johanna Sigurðardóttir is no longer president and is now retired

BTW if you want to see a beautiful nation, beautiful and totally friendly people, a nation where crime is all but non existant go there. Everyone speaks almost perfect english. I was there in 2011 to celebrate their passing marriage equality 49 to 0 in Parliament. Wx in late July – early august 55 iin AM, 75 in afternoon.

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