International reaction to Varadkar’s election focuses on sexuality

Many international media outlets run with headline ‘Ireland’s first gay prime minister’

Leo Varadkar at Áras an Uachtaráin before receiving his seal of office from President Michael D Higgins. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar at Áras an Uachtaráin before receiving his seal of office from President Michael D Higgins. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

International reaction to the election of Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach has largely focused on his sexuality.

Mr Varadkar joins Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel as the only other openly gay world leader.

Reuters focuses on Mr Varadkar’s sexuality, stating: “Ireland elects first gay prime minister Leo Varadkar.”

It reports: “Despite inheriting Europe’s fastest-growing economy, he will face immediate challenges in the shape of neighboring Britain’s exit from the European Union, a political crisis in Northern Ireland and a housing crisis at home.”

The New York Times uses the Reuters copy and with the headline : “Leo Varadkar Elected as Ireland’s First Gay Prime Minister.”

Associated Press France runs with the headline: “Ireland’s first gay prime minister enters office.”

It reports: “Although regarded as relatively liberal on social issues such as gender equality and abortion rights, Varadkar has been criticised by opposition parties for his right-wing economic views.”

The Guardian goes with the headline “Ireland’s first gay prime minister Leo Varadkar formally elected.”

It reports: “The former GP, son of an Indian father and Irish mother, faces a number of challenges as he takes over the only EU country that has a land border with the UK as it prepares for Brexit.

“The country may experience an impact on prosperity and trade across the open border as it works towards restoring a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.”

The Telegraph also leads with the headline: “Ireland elects first gay prime minister Leo Varadkar”

It reports: “Mr Varadkar, a qualified doctor, only revealed he was gay months before Ireland became the first country in the world to back same-sex marriage in a referendum in May 2015. He has been in a relationship with another medic for about two years.”

The Gay Times website had the headline: “Ireland now officially has its first ever openly gay prime minister.”

It reports : “Ireland has made history by electing its first ever openly gay prime minister. Leo Varadkar, the son of an Irish nurse and a doctor from India, came out as gay in 2015.

“He’ll also be the country’s youngest ever leader at just 38 years old – making history left, right and centre.”