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World’s first openly gay government leader retires from politics

Sunday, April 28, 2013
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REYKJAVIK, Iceland — The world’s first elected openly gay head of government has retired.

Johanna Sigurdardottir, 70, ended her political career on Saturday, capping 35 years of public service in Iceland, where she served as Prime Minister since 2009.

Johanna Sigurdardottir

A social democrat and Iceland’s longest-serving member of Parliament, Forbes listed Sigurdardottir among the 100 Most Powerful Women in the world in 2009.

Also Iceland’s first female prime minister, Sigurdardottir was elected as head of a center-left alliance on a wave of public disgust at the previous administration.

During her administration, Iceland became the ninth country to legalize same-sex marriage when, in 2010, a marriage equality bill was passed with no political resistance.

Sigurdardottir and her partner, Jonina Leosdottir, married two weeks later on the first day the law came into effect.

In September 2012, Sigurdardottir announced she would not seek re-election and would instead retire from politics.

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