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Iceland appoints out lesbian as Prime Minister

How many decades will it take for it to happen here in the U.S? (AP):

Iceland’s next leader will be an openly gay former flight attendant who parlayed her experience as a union organizer into a decades-long political career.

Both parties forming Iceland’s new coalition government support the appointment of Johanna Sigurdardottir, the island nation’s 66-year-old social affairs minister, as Iceland’s interim prime minister.

“Now we need a strong government that works with the people,” Sigurdardottir told reporters Wednesday, adding that a new administration will likely be installed Saturday.

The country is in economic crisis, and so she’s been handed a nasty clean up job left by conservatives in her land, just as Obama has here. More after the jump.

Iceland’s previous conservative-led government failed Monday after the country’s banks collapsed last fall under the weight of huge debts amassed during years of rapid economic growth. The country’s currency has since plummeted, while inflation and unemployment are soaring.

…She was the only minister to see her rating improve on the previous year’s score, Capacent Gallup said Wednesday. The poll of 2,000 people had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

“It’s a question of trust, people believe that she actually cares about people,” said Olafur Hardarson, a political scientist at the University of Iceland.

While a woman has served in the largely symbolic role of president, Sigurdardottir will be Iceland’s first female prime minister.

She lives with journalist Jonina Leosdottir, who became her civil partner in 2002, and has two sons from a previous marriage.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding