December 5, 2013 at 11:21 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay Luxembourg prime minister sworn in

Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg, Democratic Party, gay news, Washington Blade

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (Photo by Julien Becker; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Luxembourg on Wednesday became the third country with an openly gay prime minister.

Luxembourg City Mayor Xavier Bettel was sworn in to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker who had been prime minister of the small landlocked European country nestled between Belgium, France and Germany since 1995. Luxembourg’s new deputy prime minister, Etienne Schneider, is also gay.

Bettel told BuzzFeed last month he would like to see Luxembourg extend marriage rights to same-sex couples next year. He said his sexual orientation is “no reason whether I’m elected or not elected.”

“I once had a [female politician] who said I was more lady than her,” Bettel told BuzzFeed. “Society is changing and what would be considered as not normal is fully normal nowadays. You can live your life as yourself and be considered as you are — not because you look like a politician who is married with children.”

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo has been in office since late 2011.

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was the prime minister of Iceland from 2009 through 2012. She and her partner were among the first gay couples to marry once the country’s same-sex marriage law took effect in 2010.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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