Iceland Elects World’s First Openly Gay National Leader

johanna_sigurdardottirAfter serving as the nation’s interim prime minister since January, Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir has been elected to the position by the people of Iceland.

Sigurdardóttir was chosen for the interim position after Iceland’s economy collapsed and many in the conservative-controlled government resigned. The election further punished the conservative party, which is viewed as responsible for the economic crisis, by voting-out conservative members of congress. (Sound familiar?)

Like our own record-breaking leader, Sigurdardóttir faces a difficult road ahead:

Iceland’s economy is expected to contract by 10% this year and 1/3 of the annual budget must go to the International Monetary Fund to begin repaying the $2.1 billion dollar loan it gave the nation earlier this year to keep the country from collapsing.

Sigurdardóttir is now going to push for Iceland to join the EU and adopt the Euro, which is expected to be an up-hill battle both domestically and among current EU members.

The 66-year-old has always kept her private life somewhat private, although her official website does reference the woman with whom she has a civil union. Iceland is considered quite tolerant of gays, even amongst those who are politically conservative.

Sigurdardóttir has two children with her ex-husband.

Trivia: Iceland saw a voter turnout rate more than 85%. (Iceland, smartly, holds elections over the weekend.) It’s female turnout rate is this world’s third highest.

More at Queerty, NYT;Thanks Meaghan!


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