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Ireland gets set for its first gay conservative Prime Minister

Leo Varadkar, the youngest Prime Minister ever to be voted into Ireland's parliament is also out and gay.
Photo credit:
cnn.com

Ireland is making LGBT history this month electing its youngest and first openly gay Prime Minister.

Leo Varadkar is 38-years-old and is the Minister for Social Protection. He was elected as leader of the Fine Gael Party on Friday reports CNN.

His conformation will take place on June 13 when Parliament reconvenes.

Enda Kenny stepped down as the party leader in May, one which he held for 15 years.

Housing Prime Minister Simon Coveney was Varadkar’s only opponent but had the backing of nearly two-thirds of the regular party members.

However their votes only counted as 25% of the total needed to take the Fine Gael position. 

The win is a result of Varadkar’s endorsement by the Fine Gael majority, local council members, and 51 of the 73 parliamentary colleagues which counted for 65% of the total.

"Delighted and humbled" was Varadkar’s response upon hearing of the win.

The son of an Indian-born father and Irish mother, Varadkar became a doctor before entering Parliament at 27-years-old.

Serving as Minister of Health, he came out on Irish national radio in unison with other openly gay leaders to support the Marriage Equality Bill.

Varadkar’s conservative views are more than likely what got him elected, even though the country is trying to loosen the age-old reins of social Catholic traditions. 

His based his campaign on “Taking Ireland Forward,” and he has fought against welfare fraud with the slogan “Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All.”

He wants to reform tax laws for the self-employed, and create a ban on strikes for “essential” public workers.

As Prime Minister he said he wants to hold a referendum on abortion in 2018 because the laws are too restrictive.

But has also said that the Fine Gael Party, "should be a warm house for those who have socially conservative views.”

Varadkar will be confirmed on June 13.