SERBIA: Lawmakers Elect Openly Gay Prime Minister

The Associated Press reports:

Serbian lawmakers have elected a lesbian as the country’s first female prime minister, making history in the predominantly conservative Balkan country. Parliament voted 157-55 on Thursday to approve the government of 41-year-old Ana Brnabic, who became the nation’s first openly gay head of government.

Serbia’s powerful President Aleksandar Vucic nominated the Western-educated Brnabic for the post two weeks ago amid opposition from hard-line nationalists. Vucic’s move was widely seen as an attempt to calm Western concerns that Serbia is getting too close to Russia despite its proclaimed goal of joining the European Union.

Brnabic is now the world’s fifth openly gay prime minister. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar took office last week. Luxembourgian Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, who is married, is currently in office. Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (also married) was in office from 2009 to 2013. Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was in office from 2011 to 2014.