Elio di Rupo

Belgium is to become the second nation in the world with an openly-gay head when Elio di Rupo is sworn in as prime minister today.

Di Rupo (60) is a French-speaking social-democratic politician and the party leader of the Socialist Party (PS).

Belgium, which has both French and Dutch speaking people, has been politically paralysed due to disputes over language issues.

As a result of the political impasse, the country has been run by a ‘caretaker’ government for over 500 days.

Di Rupo, known for wearing his trademark red bow ties, came out as gay in 1996. When asked if he was gay by journalists, he responded “Yes. So what?”

He later said: “I’ll never forget that instant. After my reply everything went silent. It was a sincere reply, the truth.”

While he is fluent in French, Di Rupo is taking classes to improve his Dutch; the mother tongue of the majority of Belgians.

“I’m going to work on it,” Di Rupo has been quoted as saying. “I will reply in Dutch in parliament, even with mistakes.”

In 2009, Johanna Sigurdardottir became the world’s first-openly gay leader when she was sworn in as prime minister of Iceland.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Latest Comments
  1. World
    Reply -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend