How the world is changing! The husband of Luxembourg’s gay Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was welcomed as one of the spouses of NATO leaders this week.
Bettel and his husband of two years, Gauthier Destenay, attended the NATO conference in Belgium, along with the organisation’s other heads of state and their partners.
On Thursday, the spouses met with Queen Mathilde of Belgium while their partners were engaged in discussions on protecting Europe.
In what’s possibly a world first, Destenay – dubbed the ‘first gentleman’ of Luxembourg – was included in the otherwise all-woman official group photo, smiling proudly just behind Melania Trump.
He was also placed behind a less than amused Emine Erdogan, the wife of the increasingly authoritarian and conservative President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
In April, Luxembourg’s first couple also made history when Pope Francis received Bettel and Destenay at the Vatican at a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which created the European Economic Community.
In May 2015, Bettel became the first gay male leader of a country to enter into a same-sex marriage while in office when he tied the knot with Destenay, who is an architect.
When Bettel 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).
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, who was then Prime Minister of Iceland, was the first head of state to marry a same-sex partner while in office when she married author and playwright Jónína Leósdóttir, in 2010.