Meet the first gay male head of state to marry in office

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (right) married Gauthier Destenay on Friday

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (right) married Gauthier Destenay on Friday (Pic: Facebook)

The Prime Minister of Luxembourg has become the first gay male leader of a country to enter into a same-sex marriage while in office.

Xavier Bettel married his partner, architect Gauthier Destenay, on Friday in a private ceremony officiated by the mayor of the city of Luxembourg.

The couple, dressed in dark suits, greeted well-wishers who had gathered outside city hall to show their support.

On Saturday, Bettel, 42, tweeted: “Thanks for all your kind messages. We just have one life, live it.”

When he came into office in December 2013, Luxembourg became the third country in the world to have an openly gay head of state (Iceland and Belgium were first and second).

Bettel, who often attends official functions with Destenay, promised to legalise same-sex marriage as part of his election campaign.

“I never hid it,” he told Buzzfeed in 2013 when speaking about his sexuality. “It’s a fact, I am like I am and I want to be honest with myself and honest in politics.”

In June 2014, the country’s parliament finally passed a marriage equality bill which had been in limbo since 2009. The law came into effect in January.

Luxembourg is a small landlocked country in Western Europe, with a population of around 524,853 people.

In 2010, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, who was then Prime Minister of Iceland, married her partner, author and playwright Jónína Leósdóttir. The couple had been in a civil union since 2002.

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