Tuesday , January 25 2022

Meet the Gay Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, and His Husband

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (right) with his husband, Gauthier Destenay

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel married his partner Gauthier Destenay in 2015, becoming the first European Union leader to enter a gay marriage.

Bettel became the second world leader to do so. This was after former Prime Minister of Iceland, Johanna Sigurdardottir, married her partner in 2010.

The interesting part about this development is that gay marriage is a relatively new thing in Luxembourg. As The Guardian reports, Bettel’s party won a prominent spot in the ruling coalition after campaigning for same-sex marriage.

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (Right) holds the hand of his partner, Belgian Gauthier Destenay, as they arrive for their wedding ceremony at Luxembourg’s city hall, May 15, 2015.

“[Same-sex marriage] was previously knocked down in 2007 by the then ruling Christian People’s party, but a poll in 2013 found 83% of Luxembourgers supported a change in the law.

“Little is known about Destenay, who works for the Belgian-Luxembourger architecture firm A3. He has appeared alongside Bettel at a number of official events, including the royal wedding of Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie in 2012.

“What is known is that it was Destenay who proposed, reportedly asking for Bettel’s hand just weeks after Luxembourg’s parliament last July became the ninth EU legislature to lift a ban on gay marriages.”

Former Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo was the EU’s first openly gay national leader.

The Luxembourg newly-weds are not expected to go away on a honeymoon, as the PM has to attend an economic forum in Kazakhstan, according to AFP news agency.

In 2010 Iceland’s then PM Johanna Sigurdardottir married her same-sex partner – although Iceland is not part of the EU.

The EU’s first openly gay head of government came in 2011 in Belgium when Elio Di Rupo became the Prime Minister of Belgium.

Di Rupo was in attendance at the wedding yesterday, saying he had come for a “friend’s wedding”.


About Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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