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Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, right, walks out of the town hall with his partner Gauthier Destenay after their marriage in Luxembourg, on Friday, May 15, 2015. The marriage comes one year after the parliament approved legislation to turn Luxembourg into an increasing number of countries allowing for same-sex marriages. Bettel and Destenay have been civil partners since 2010. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert
Xavier Bettel, right, with his new husband.

This is only the second gay world leader to get married while in office

Kabir Chibber
By Kabir Chibber

Journalist

Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, married his partner yesterday. This wouldn’t be that exciting, except in doing so, Bettel becomes the first leader in the European Union to get married to a partner of the same sex while in office.

He is the second world leader to do so. Johanna Sigurdardottir, the world’s first openly gay head of government, also became the first to marry a gay partner while serving as Iceland’s prime minister in 2010.

Luxembourg, the EU’s smallest state—population: 540,000—is perhaps best known as a Francophone tax haven but it also boasts a long history of tolerance. Homosexuality was decriminalized back in 1794 (table 1.1) and same-sex civil unions became legal in 2004. In 2014, Luxembourg became the ninth country in Europe to approve gay marriage.

Bettel and his other half, Gauthier Destenay, aren’t expected to go on a honeymoon anytime soon. The prime minister has to attend an economic forum in Kazakhstan.

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