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First lesbian PM "a real landmark" - Street

Wed 4 Feb 2009 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Out lesbian Labour MP Maryan Street says she's written to congratuate Iceland's new Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir on her landmark appointment. "Hugely heartened": Marayn Street MP At the weekend, Sigurdardottir was officially appointed the leader of Iceland - becoming the world's first openly lesbian Prime Minister. "She has had a long and obviously successful political career and it is a tribute to Iceland's progressiveness that they find it so unremarkable that they have a lesbian PM," Street tells "This is a wonderful demonstration of the fact that lesbians can get to the top of any profession - something we all know - but not without cost. Clearly Ms Sigurdardottir has made choices to keep her private life private, and not have interviews done or photos taken with her partner, while at the same time remaining honest about her sexuality. Good on her!" When Sigurdardottir faces Iceland's General Election in May, the respected politician has a good chance of staying in power, according to Icelandic reports. "I am hugely heartened by her appointment and I hope it translates into her election," adds Street. "The calibre of an individual politician will be what attracts voters to support a candidate in the end, and Johanna clearly has that support from Icelanders in large numbers, judging by her popularity and her long career. I could do worse than model myself on her! I have followed Icelandic politics for years because of the rise and influence of the Women's Party there. Good on Iceland and good on Johanna! Hey, she's 66 too - a strike for older women as well!" Street notes however that "it is too soon to describe her appointment as a real breakthrough, but it will be forever a landmark for our queer communities the world over. There is a difference. Landmarks show us where we have come from on our way to where we are going. Breakthroughs are when lots of us get there too!"    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 4th February 2009 - 9:39am

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