With a referendum on marriage equality anticipated for May, Ireland's Minister of Health, Leo Varadkar, announced he is gay during an interview with Dublin West TD. “I am a gay man, it’s not a secret, but not something that everyone would necessarily know,” he said. “It’s not something that defines me…it’s just a part of who I am,” adding that he hopes the referendum passes because he would “like to be an equal citizen in my own country, the country in which I happen to be a member of Government, and at the moment I’m not.”
Along with marriage equality, the government will also be facing legislation on surrogacy and blood donation for gay and bisexual men. Varadkar wanted the public know ahead of time that his decisions on these issues would be made “according to what I believe is in the public interest and of my own conscience,” not his own background or sexual orientation.