World set for first openly gay Prime Minister?

Icelandic politician set to become first openly lesbian Prime Minister

The world could see the first openly gay Prime Minister voted into power this year, if Icelandic Social Affairs Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, is successful in May.

Sixty-six-year-old Sigurdardottir is the hot favourite to take over from current leader Geir Haarde, who announced he will step down because of a malignant tumour found on his esophagus earlier this week.

The small Scandinavian nation has suffered its fair share of turmoil in the last twelve months with an economic and political crisis of epic proportions that threatened to bankrupt the entire country.

Sigurdardottir is the mother of two grown sons and is married to Icelandic writer and playwright, Jonina Leosdottir.

She has devoted her career to battling for the welfare and equality of minority groups.

Other European countries have come close to voting in a gay leader, with Germany deliberating over whether to vote homosexual politician, Klaus Wowereit into office in 2006. While in France in 2001, Betrand Delanoë became the first mayor of Paris and is said to be considering running for president in 2012.

One Icelandic friend and journalist said of Sigurdardottir: ‘No one has ever talked about Johanna as a gay person. She’s not hiding it either, the name of her spouse is on her Parliament and Ministry web pages, it’s just that nobody cares about it.’

He added: ‘Reasonable, sane people are not going to care about people’s gender or colour. They just want the best person for the job.’

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