Luxembourg to achieve historic first: Openly gay Prime Minister, Deputy PM

Xavier Bettel (left) and Etienne Schneider

The tiny European country of Luxembourg is set to achieve a historic first by having an openly gay Prime Minister and an openly gay Deputy Prime Minister.

Xavier Bettel (left) and Etienne Schneider

Xavier Bettel (left) and Etienne Schneider

Grand Duke Henri, the country’s head of state, has appointed Xavier Bettel, the former mayor of Luxembourg City, as the Prime Minister-designate.

Bettel, 40, announced last week that he will form a coalition government with the Greens and Socialists and once the government is formed, he would take office as prime minister, likely within the next few weeks.

Bettel said in an interview Monday he has selected Etienne Schneider, the leader of Luxembourg’s Socialist Workers Party, to be his deputy prime minister. Schneider is also an openly gay politician and currently the Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade.

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He added that his first priority as prime minister would be to push for legalizing same-sex marriage in the world’s only remaining grand duchy.

Bettel indicated that he didn’t want a time lapse of more than a year or two to make marriage equality law in the nation.

With his selection as Prime Minster, Bettel will be the European Union’s second openly gay Prime Minister after Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo, and will take up living in the prime minister’s official residence with his partner Destenay Gauthier.

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