Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who's That Queer?

Brought to you by Pistol Pete

Following the country's banks collapsed and last Monday's resulting resignation of Iceland's conservative-led government, the two parties forming Iceland’s new coalition Government backed Johanna Sigurdardottir, 66, a Social Democrat and an open lesbian, to take charge as interim Prime Minister, until new elections are held, probably in May. Sigurdardottir would become the country's first woman prime minister, and the first ever openly gay leader.
Sigurdardottir entered politics through the labor movement, serving as a labor organizer when she worked as a flight attendant with Loftleidir Airlines — now Icelandair — in the 1960s and 1970s. She was first elected to Iceland's parliament in 1978. She became a minister in 1987 and has held her current post since 1999. Despite her veteran status, many Icelanders regard her as a maverick and respect her work promoting the welfare of minority groups.
She is perhaps best known for her reaction to a failed bid to become chairman of the Social Democratic Party — a forerunner of the current Social Democratic Alliance Party — in 1994. Despite a heavy loss, Sigurdardottir predicted: "My time will come." In 1995, she quit the Social Democrats and formed her own party, Tjodvaki — translated as "Waking The Nation" — which won four parliamentary seats. Sigurdardottir later rejoined her old party when it merged with three other center-left groups in 1999 and 2000.
She lives with journalist Jonina Leosdottir, who became her civil partner in a ceremony in 2002. Sigurdardottir was previously married to a man and has two sons.

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