Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert: ‘Luxembourg’s gay prime minister and deputy PM is LGBT progress for Europe’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Gilbert says the fact that Luxembourg is set to have both an openly gay prime minister and deputy PM shows “how far Europe has progressed on LGBT issues”.

The gay MP for St Austell and Newquay told “Having a country with the two highest profile political posts held by openly gay men shows how far Europe has progressed on LGBT issues.

“Just as Thatcher proved that gender was no obstacle to achieving high office and Obama proved that race isn’t, it’s clear that attitudes to sexuality are changing too.”

Xavier Bettel, the gay mayor of Luxembourg City and leader of the country’s Democratic Party, has officially been appointed prime minister designate of Luxembourg by Grand Duke Henri, the country’s head of state.

Mr Bettel announced that Etienne Schneider, the gay leader of Luxembourg’s Socialist Workers’ Party (LSDP), was his choice as deputy prime minister earlier this week.

“My vice-prime minister is gay as well,” he said to BuzzFeed.

The world’s first openly gay prime minister was Iceland’s Johanna Sigurdardottir in 2009. She left office this year in April.

Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo became the European Union’s first openly gay prime minister in December 2011.