Leo Varadkar will become Ireland’s first openly LGBTQ prime minister — and just the fourth openly LGBTQ person to be head of government of any country. Today he was elected leader of Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael party — and will become prime minister when he is confirmed by parliament on June 13.
Currently serving as Ireland’s Minister of Social Protection, last month he announced his campaign to succeed the current Prime Minister, Enda Kenny. The election of Varadkar heralds a generational shift away from the party-focused, personality-driven politics that Ireland has traditionally engaged in. It also signals a sea-change in a country often thought of as more socially conservative than its neighbors.
Victory Institute works to support and elect LGBTQ leaders like Varadkar all across the globe — including with LGBTQ officials in Ireland. Openly gay Irish Senator Jerry Buttimer spoke with participants at our Western Balkans Regional Conference on LGBTI Political Participation in 2015, and to domestic and international leaders at the 2015 International LGBT Leaders Conference in Las Vegas.