Iceland Retains First Woman, Gay Prime Minister

Iceland formally elected Johanna Sigurdardottir, who is both the first woman and openly gay Prime Minister in the nation’s history in general elections Saturday. She is currently the only openly gay national leader in the world.

Sigurdardottir became interim prime minister when Former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde resigned in January as a result of Iceland’s economic collapse. She was appointed by Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and had previously served as the welfare minister under Haarde.

According to The Advocate, Sigurdardottir led a left-wing coalition to their first majority in parliament, where Social Democrats and Left Greens were projected to win 35 of 63 seats. The loss of power by the conservative Independent Party is directly tied to the global economic collapse, according to the New York Times.

Iceland boasts some of the most progressive gay rights legislation in the world and legalized gay marriage in 1996.


Feminist Daily Newswire 2/2/09; The Advocate 4/27/09; The New York Times 4/25/09

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