San Marino has world's first openly gay head of state

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

The tiny republic of San Marino, nestled within Italy, ushered in the world's first openly gay head of state on Friday, with equality activists hailing it as a "historic event."

Paolo Rondelli, 58, is one of two Captains Regent elected by the legislature who will lead San Marino, a microstate of 34 000 people, for the next six months, as per tradition in the northern republic.

The relatively conservative Catholic nation only decriminalised homosexuality in 2004.

But in recent years San Marino has taken steps to strengthen civil rights, most recently voting in a September referendum to legalise abortion.

A former chemical engineer, Rondelli began working in politics in the 1990s and served for nine years as San Marino's ambassador to the United States beginning in 2007.

"I will probably be the first head of state in the world to belong to the LGBT+ community (only ministers and prime ministers so far)," wrote Rondelli on his Facebook account Saturday.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Are you going to keep wearing a mask following the announcement that it is no longer required under law?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No ways, I'm done
41% - 3428 votes
Yes, I still want to be cautious
21% - 1772 votes
Only certain circumstances
37% - 3106 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.92
-0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.58
-1.0%
Rand - Euro
16.84
-1.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.02
-0.5%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.7%
Gold
1,837.50
+0.6%
Silver
21.48
+1.6%
Palladium
1,928.50
+2.6%
Platinum
914.00
+0.3%
Brent Crude
113.12
+2.7%
Top 40
61,596
+2.7%
All Share
67,935
+2.4%
Resource 10
66,221
+2.8%
Industrial 25
79,734
+4.1%
Financial 15
15,479
-0.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE