The United States just witnessed the first African American to become its president, and now Iceland has become the first nation in the world to select a gay person to head its government. At a time of gloom and disaster the people of Iceland apparently seek in a head of government someone who has a gay attitude that life will be better. Johanna Sigurdardottir, a former airline hostess and an openly gay person, was asked to form a new government when the leader of her Social Democratic Alliance came down with a tumor. She is extremely popular in Iceland and frequently has been referred to as “Saint Johanna.” Although she is famous throughout Iceland and in 2002 married her partner, Jonina Leosdottir, her lesbian union was accepted as a normal occurrence in this nation of 300,000 people. She has always been a private person and many people are not particularly interested in her personal life which she rarely discusses.
At a time of crisis and despair in Iceland where people have witnessed life savings disappear in a few months, there is probably need for calm leadership and an individual who is popular with the average person. In such critical times, it is important to restore a sense of order and calm because the road ahead for Iceland will be a long one.
For a 78 year old person such as myself, it is wonderful being alive when an African American becomes president of the United States and a gay person assumes leadership of a nation. The world is moving along the right roads toward respect for human integrity.