Irish PM to-be Leo Varadkar's family beaming with pride
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 06, 2017,
Jun 06, 2017, 13:48
Ahead of the 2015 vote on a referendum legalizing gay marriage, Varadkar, then a cabinet minister, came out as gay. He informed that Leo had been interested in politics since a very young age and has been sports and health Minister before.
Varadkar represents a few historic firsts for Ireland: He'll be the country's first openly gay taoiseach, which is essentially the prime minister.
The son of an Indian-born father and Irish mother, Varadkar became a doctor before entering Parliament at 27-years-old. He beat his rival - Housing Minister Simon Coveney - with 60% of the votes to lead the center-right Fine Gael party.
Enda Kenny, the former PM of Ireland, stepped down this earlier this week as leader of the Fine Gael party after ruling the country for six long years.
The piece, written by Ed O'Loughlin, has an opening paragraph detailing how "A gay son of an Indian immigrant is now all but certain to become the next prime minister of Ireland, a country that has rapidly been leaving its conservative Roman Catholic social traditions behind". He's not only gay and a visible minority, he's also just 38 years old, meaning he'll be the youngest Prime Minister in Irish history.
"If my election today shows anything, it is that prejudice has no hold in this Republic", Varadkar said to huge applause in a speech at Dublin's Mansion House, where Ireland's parliament first sat nearly a century ago.
"I want to thank everyone who engaged in this extraordinary, open democratic process", Varadkar said in his acceptance speech.
Varadkar spoke to Belfast newspaper the Irish News last month about his boyfriend of almost two years, Dr. Matt Barrett.
His based his campaign on "Taking Ireland Forward", and he has fought against welfare fraud with the slogan "Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All".
"I remember this day nearly 15 years ago and the sense of excitement & possibility", he said. After formal confirmation from parliamentary members on June 13, he is set to become Ireland's first openly gay prime minister.