John M. Becker

Ireland's Health Minister Comes Out as Gay

Filed By John M. Becker | January 20, 2015 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, Ireland, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, welcome out

leo-varadkar.jpgIreland's Minister of Health, Leo Varadkar, came out as gay on Sunday. He is the country's first openly gay government minister. Via the Irish Times:

"I am a gay man, it's not a secret, but not something that everyone would necessarily know but isn't something I've spoken publicly about before," he told Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ Radio 1.

"It's not something that defines me,"he said. "I'm not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician for that matter. It's just part of who I am, it doesn't define me, it is part of my character I suppose".

Across the course of a wide-ranging interview, in which the Dublin West TD discussed his Indian heritage and an ambition to leave politics after another 15 years, Mr Varadkar said he wanted to make clear there were no hidden agendas on his behalf going into the same-sex marriage referendum set for May this year.

"There's a referendum on marriage equality coming up too, and I just want to be honest with people. I was thinking about the arguments that I might make, and all the arguments that I was going to make were kind of detached" he said, speaking on his 36th birthday.

Varadkar added that he wants the marriage equality referendum to pass not for political reasons, but because "I'd like to be an equal citizen in my own country."

Polls continue to show massive public support for marriage equality in Ireland, with the latest numbers coming in at a whopping 76%.

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