An openly gay candidate is considered
the frontrunner to replace Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on June 2.
Leo Varadkar, the son of an Indian
father and Irish mother, is the leading contender to replace Kenny as
party leader and Taoiseach, or prime minister.
If elected, Varadkar, currently the
minister of social protection, would become Ireland's first openly
gay and ethnic minority prime minister, and the youngest at 38.
Varadkar came out gay two years ago as
Ireland debated a nationwide referendum on whether to extend marriage
rights to gay and lesbian couples. Sixty-two percent of voters
approved the measure.
Belgium and Iceland have had openly gay
heads of state, while Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in 2015
first European Union leader to marry a person of the same sex while