Andorran Prime Minister Xavier Espot Zamora came out as gay in a recent interview with Radio and Television of Andorra earlier this week.
The announcement makes the 43-year-old the first openly LGBTQ premier of the small country of about 79,000 citizens.
He is one of five sitting heads of state or government who identify as LGBTQ. The other out world leaders are Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, reports People magazine.
Other LGBTQ world leaders have included former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, former Captain Regent Paolo Rondelli of San Marino, and former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, according to Pride.com.
“I never hid it,” Espot said of his sexual orientation. “Now, if I’m not asked I don’t have to say it, in the sense that it doesn’t define the entirety of who I am and even less my personal politics. But at the same time I think it shouldn’t be a problem to express it.
“And if this helps many children, young people, or teenagers who are going through a difficult time see that in the end, regardless of their condition or sexual orientation, you can prosper in this country and reach the highest magistracy, then I am happy to express it,” he added.
A former judge, Zamora previously served as the country’s minister for justice. He became prime minister in 2019.
Homosexuality is legal in Andorra and same-sex civil unions have been legal since 2014. Last year, politicians updated the county’s Family Code to allow same-sex nuptials, which took effect in February.
Andorra also has a law that permits transgender people to legally change their name and gender marker on official identification documents, as long as they have lived in their gender identity for two years and can provide evidence and testimony attesting to that fact.
The country has not yet banned conversion therapy or efforts to forcibly change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
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