Irish NRI Cabinet minister announces he is gay

Ireland Cabinet health minister Leo Varadkar announced on state radio that he is gay, becoming the first openly homosexual government figure in the history of the conservative Catholic country. Varadkar who received much praise for his honesty said he decided to make the announcement in anticipation of several government initiatives this year to advance gay rights that include plans to legalise gay marriage, permit homosexual men to donate blood and create greater parenthood rights for gays in surrogate-pregnancy cases. He made the announcement on his 36th birthday, and says his family, friends and many colleagues had known or suspected he was gay. He also gave his parents advance warning because he did not want them to hear the news first at Sunday Mass.