Luxembourg premier becomes first European leader to wed same-sex partner while in power

By REUTERS
May 15, 2015 20:46
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Luxembourg's prime minister married his civil partner on Friday, becoming the first serving leader in the European Union to wed someone of the same sex.

Xavier Bettel, 42, and Belgian architect Gauthier Destenay were among the first men to marry under a new law, which came into force in the Grand Duchy in January and made it the latest on nearly a dozen EU states to allow gay marriage.

Greeted by scores of well-wishers outside city hall after the private ceremony, the couple, in dark suits and ties, waved to the crowd. Bettel, a liberal whose election 18 months ago ended decades of conservative rule in the traditionally Catholic country, hugged Destenay and said: "Luxembourg can set an example."

Fellow youthful EU prime ministers Charles Michel, 39, of neighboring Belgium, and Estonia's Taavi Roivas, 35, attended the civil ceremony conducted by Bettel's political ally and successor as mayor of the city of Luxembourg.

"I came to the wedding of a friend. It's a great moment for him and I had to be present," Michel told Belgium's RTBF radio.

Bettel, a lawyer by training, publicly came out as gay in a radio show seven years ago. Destenay, already his boyfriend at the time, had still not come out.

"I didn't get up one morning and said, hey, I'm gay," Bettel told a television interviewer in 2013. "When I hear people say that we are sick, it's not a choice."

He became prime minister in December 2013, ending 19 years in power for Jean-Claude Juncker, who now heads the European Commission in Brussels.

Five years ago, Johanna Sigurdardottir, then the prime minister of Iceland, became the first serving government leader in the world to marry a same-sex partner.

Related Content

Breaking news
July 17, 2018
Trump to meet with members of Congress after summit criticism

By REUTERS