minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “I am a gay man.”

Varadkar is Ireland’s first ever openly gay minister

Irish minister for Health Leo Varadkar

Irish minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “I am a gay man.”

Irish minister for Health Leo Varadkar has revealed today, Sunday 18 January 2015 that he is a “gay man.”

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He told Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ Radio 1: “I am a gay man, it’s not a secret, but not something that everyone would necessarily know but isn’t something I’ve spoken publicly about before.

“It’s not something that defines me. I’m not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician for that matter. It’s just part of who I am, it doesn’t define me, it is part of my character I suppose.

“I suppose I’d like to get to the place where the next generation of politicians don’t have to do an interview like this, that it’s not a big deal and that blond hair, black hair, it’s not necessarily something you have to make a big deal of.”

Ireland is holding a referendum on same-sex marriage in May this year, and Varadkar has said he wants “to be honest with people” ahead of the referendum, and expressed the hope that the referendum will pass.

The Dublin West TD said: “There’s a referendum on marriage equality coming up too, and I just want to be honest with people. I was thinking about the arguments that I might make, and all the arguments that I was going to make were kind of detached.

“What I really want to say is that I’d like the referendum to pass because I’d like to be an equal citizen in my own country, the country in which I happen to be a member of Government, and at the moment I’m not.”

By this disclosure, Varadkar has become the first ever openly gay minister in the history of Ireland, and is the second Fine Gael TD of the current Government to come out publicly. On 30 April 2012, Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer disclosed his sexuality in an interview with the Irish Examiner.

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