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In the midst of the sad news about the passing of Nelson Mandela (who supported LGBT equality), there is at least one positive development in the world.

Following in the footsteps of Iceland and Belgium (whose current premier is a gay man) Luxembourg will have the distinction of being the third nation in the world with an out LGBT person in charge and the first to have LGBT individuals in both the number one and number two positions in government.

Recent national elections did not result in a majority governing party, so the Democratic Party formed a coalition with the Socialists and the Greens. Xavier Bettel was once a talk show host and then mayor of the capital, Luxembourg City before becoming head of his party. His vice prime minister, Etienne Schneider, comes from the Socialist Party.

Luxembourg does not currently have marriage equality; Prime Minister Bettel has promised to change that within his first year in office. In addition he plans to secularize the public school curriculum which at this point uses religion to teach ethics.

Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a constitutional monarchy whose head of state is called the Grand Duke, is a charming and picturesque little nation, about 1,000 square miles in size with just over half a million inhabitants (I was there once, many years ago). It lies between Belgium, France and Germany and actually has its own language. Luxemourgish is one of the nation's three official languages, the other two being French and German. Luxembourgish is actually a Germanic language but is definitely distinct from High German.

Originally posted to sfbob on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 04:24 PM PST.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, and Remembering LGBT History.

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