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Image for Belgium's long-awaited gay Prime Minister

Belgium's long-awaited gayPrime Minister

Bow-tie fan Elio Di Rupo has become Belgium’s Prime Minister, emerging from a year-and-a-half of talks over a coalition government following a complicated June 2010 election result.

60-year-old Di Rupo (pictured) is the first openly gay male to become PM – while Iceland’s PM Johanna Sigurðardóttir was the first lesbian politician voted to power back in 2009.

Local new sources describe Di Rupo as a bright, hard-working and astute political operator who was ultimately the right person to engineer what had seemed impossible for so many months – a multi-party deal to form a new government.

An atheist and rationalist, he leads the country’s Socialist Party, and is often seen with his trademark red bowtie, and came out in the ‘90s after a pack of journalists pursued him, one of them asking: “they say you’re a homosexual!”

“I turned around and shot back: ‘Yes. So what?’,” the politician recalls. “I will never forget that moment. For several seconds there was silence. People were so surprised by my reply they stopped jostling each other. It was a sincere, truthful reply.”

The BBC profiles Elio Di Rupo here.

The multi-language European country took a record-breaking 541 days of talks to decide which party would lead the nation, leading to some derision from its citizens who are keen for a new government to address fiscal reforms.

Belgium is home to around 11 million people, and in 2003 became the second country in the world (after The Netherlands) to allow same-sex marriages.

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Lazzarus

Lazzarus said on the 12th Dec, 2011

I love rational atheists... er?

He's looking good for 60.

Sep77

Sep77 said on the 15th Dec, 2011

He's not gay; he's just a little bit poofy.

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 17th Dec, 2011

OMG, think of the children!!!!!!!

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 17th Dec, 2011

What will they think of next. A gay Prime Minister.

Haven't we had a couple of those already ?

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 17th Dec, 2011

What will they think of next. A gay Prime Minister.

Haven't we had a couple of those already ?

Yes, rumours would have it about 3 of them in OZ, but I try not to kiss and tell....

mark_

mark_ said on the 17th Dec, 2011

^
I don't know you can tell other than W. MacMahon

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 17th Dec, 2011

Oh Mark, Im sure you know all the dirt. Why don't you post it on your secret blog along with all the all the stalker pix you take....?