This is probably one of my favorite stories involving modern politics.
Same-sex marriage became legal in Luxembourg on January 1st, 2015. On May 15th of that same year, Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, married his partner of five years, the architect Gauthier Destenay.
Bettel is the first prime minister to be openly gay (and the only world leader as of today).
I didn’t know any of this until today, when I opened my newsfeed to see a picture featuring the spouses and partners of the leaders gathering at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conference in Brussels, Belgium.
It is, without a doubt, a remarkable picture. We see an elegant Destenay, dressed in black suit and gray tie, next to Queen Mathilde of Belgium, and a few glamorous First Ladies: Emine Gubaran Erodogan of Turkey, Melania Trump of the U.S., and Brigitte Macron of France, amongst other distinguished women.
I think it’s a powerful image because it’s the first of it kind. The first inclusive picture featuring the spouses of different countries’ heads of state.
So many years fighting for equal rights, for civil rights, and for LGTB rights around the world, and this picture tells us that it is possible to create a world where love and respect simply exist.
Today the internet is all about them.
We are proud of them.
We are in love with them.
We cheer and applaud them.
I hope for the day that we don’t need to feel proud or make this go viral, because it will be normal—because acceptance, love, and coexistence will be normal.
But today, I do cheer and applaud, because it’s nice to see love sneaking in and doing its magic in the middle of the crazy political time we live in.
“It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love, or how you love…it matters only that you love.” ~ John Lennon