Ireland Elects First Openly Gay Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar

Posted On Thursday, 15 June 2017 09:05

varadkar

Varadkar succeeded Enda Kenny earlier this month as leader of the governing Fine Gael party, with colleagues pinning their hopes of an unprecedented third term on the straight talking Varadkar,who they believe can widen their appeal in elections that may be triggered as soon as next year.

"Enda Kenny's leadership enabled me to become an equal citizen in my own country two short years ago and to aspire to hold this office, an aspiration I once thought was beyond my reach, at least if I chose to be myself," Varadkar said in reference to Ireland's 2015 vote to legalize gay marriage.

"The government I lead will not be one of left or right. The government I lead will be one of the new European centers as we seek to build a Republic of opportunity, that is a Republic in which every citizen gets a fair go and in which every part of the country stands to share in our prosperity".

Varadkar's elevation marks another chapter in the social change that has swept through the country of 4.6 million people that only decriminalized homosexuality in 1993 and legalized divorce two years later.

"As the country's youngest holder of this office, he speaks for a new generation of Irish women and Irish men, he represents a modern, diverse and inclusive Ireland and speaks for them like no other," Kenny told parliament, nominating his successor.

News Source: NBC News

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