Sunday, 1 February 2009
Johanna Sigurdardottir, named as Iceland's prime minister on Sunday, is the first openly lesbian head of government in Europe, if not the world - at least in modern times.
The 66-year-old's appointment as an interim leader, until elections in May, is seen by many as a milestone for the gay and lesbian movement.
Up until now, if a gay man or woman has been prime minister, they have done their best to conceal the fact.
In Iceland itself, however, the new prime minister's sexual orientation appears to be causing less excitement than it is abroad.
What is really historic about this new cabinet, says Skuli Helgeson, the general secretary of Ms Sigurardottir's Social Democratic Alliance, is not the fact that its leader is a lesbian, but that for the first time in Icelandic history it boasts an equal number of men and women.
"I don't think her sexual orientation matters. Our voters are pretty liberal, they don't care about any of that," he told BBC News. Read more BBC News