Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Openly Gay Woman to be Iceland's New Leader

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland's next leader will be an openly gay former flight attendant who parlayed her experience as a union organizer into a decades-long political career. Both parties forming Iceland's new coalition government support the appointment of Johanna Sigurdardottir, the island nation's 66-year-old social affairs minister, as Iceland's interim prime minister.

Sigurdardottir is expected to become Iceland's interim prime minister, and will lead the country until new elections are held. The new leader is known for allocating generous amounts of public funding to help the disabled, the elderly and organizations tackling domestic violence.

While a woman has served in the largely symbolic role of president, Sigurdardottir will be Iceland's first female prime minister. She lives with journalist Jonina Leosdottir, who became her civil partner in 2002, and has two sons from a previous marriage. Sigurdardottir is best known for her reaction to a failed bid to lead her party in 1994. "My time will come," she predicted in her concession speech.

As always, click the title link for the AP article with photos by David Stringer.

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