First up is from Trinidad and Tobago: on Monday, national elections there resulted in a new prime minister for the Caribbean island nation. A lady prime minister: Former Attorney General Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The previous prime minister, Patrick Manning, was facing a vote of no confidence for his mishandling of funds and rumors of corruption. Persad-Bissessar ran on a reform platform, and her United National Congress coalition won a huge proportion of parliamentary seats. In her acceptance speech, Persad-Bissessar said
Because of you we now stand on the cusp of a great moment in our history, one in which we begin the task of bringing people together to rebuild Trinidad and Tobago to make it safer, cleaner, more truly progressive than it has ever been before.
Across the pond, Portugal has become the sixth European nation to legalize gay marriage. The president, Anibal Cavaco Silva is a conservative catholic and no fan of gay marriage, but chose to end the debate by ratifying the parliamentary bill, saying
I feel I should not contribute to a pointless extension of this debate, which would only serve to deepen the divisions between the Portuguese and divert the attention of politicians away from the grave problems affecting us.
Notably, the Portuguese bill doesn’t provide for separate but equal “marriage,” rather it simply removes any reference to gender in the already standing marriage laws of the nation.