The Pope has welcomed the world’s only openly gay leader and his husband to the Vatican.
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and his partner Gauthier Destenay, joined European heads of government for the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome last month.
The couple, who entered a civil partnership in 2010 and married in 2015 following Luxembourg’s legalisation of equal marriage, were greeted by Archbishop Ganswein, personal secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, as they arrived at the headquarters of the Catholic church.
— Fanny Carrier (@fannycarrier) March 24, 2017
Bettel later joined other leaders as they held a meeting with The Pope, tweeting afterwards: “It was a great pleasure and honour for me and Gauthier to be welcomed by the leader of the Catholic church.”
It was a great pleasure and honour for me and Gauthier to be welcomed by the leader of the Catholic church. XB https://t.co/v4lF5AppIM
— Xavier Bettel (@Xavier_Bettel) March 24, 2017
Despite the welcome offered to Mattel and his husband, in 2015 France was forced to withdraw its nomination for ambassador to the Vatican after city-state official refused to confirm the appointment because he was gay.
Bettel became Luxembourg’s first openly gay Prime Minister when he assumed office in 2013.
He is only the world’s third openly gay head of government following Iceland’s former Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and Belgium’s former Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, and is currently the world’s only openly gay leader.
Luxembourg is also the only country in the world to have both a gay Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Etienne Schneider.