Gay prime minister of Luxembourg in historic photograph with lesbian prime minister of Serbia
Two openly gay world leaders – Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel and Serbia’s prime minister Ana Brnabić – were pictured together in an incredible display of LGBT+ power.
Xavier Bettel and Ana Brnabić posed with their partners on Sunday, September 8, ahead of a state visit to discuss Serbia’s proposed accession to the EU.
It marked one of the first times that two openly LGBT+ world leaders have joined forces, following an earlier summit in Belgrade and Bettel’s meeting with Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar in June.
On Twitter, the LGBT+ community were quick to celebrate the “historic” photo.
This normal looking photo is an historic first: the gay prime minister of Luxembourg and his husband meeting with the lesbian prime minister of Serbia and her girlfriend.
Progress often seems far too slow. But it’s real, and it’s worth celebrating ? pic.twitter.com/yIfv5Kyt0d
— Benjamin Butterworth (@benjaminbutter) September 10, 2019
That’s it I’m moving to Luxembourg ??
— Rich (@Rich53066) September 10, 2019
This is a testament to HOPE. People that are strong enough to be themselves are often strong enough to do the right thing.
— Ronald Gordon (@hensrace_g) September 11, 2019
Bettel became Luxembourg’s first (and the world’s third) openly gay prime minister in 2013. He married architect Gauthier Destenay in May 2015, shortly after his government introduced marriage equality.
Upon taking office in June 2017, Brnabić declared that she did not want to be branded “Serbia’s gay PM”.
Rather, she said, she would like to be known for her “competence, professionalism and trustworthiness”.
While many acknowledged that the fairness of this request, there is a widely-held frustration that LGBT+ rights have not advanced under Brnabić’s leadership.
“She comes from a protected environment, [so] if you ask her, of course [she will say] there is no homophobia,” Dragoslava Barzut, an LGBT+ activist, told the Calvert Journal.
Amnesty noted that Brnabić attended Belgrade Pride in 2017, which “was welcomed by some as progress”.
“However, the authorities failed to protect LGBTI individuals and organisations from discrimination, threats and physical attacks,” Amnesty continued.
“In April, the UN Human Rights Committee urged Serbia to implement hate crime legislation effectively, and to introduce a procedure for legal gender recognition compatible with international standards.”
Brnabić’s partner Milica Djurdjic gave birth to the couple’s first child in February.