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The Secrets of Europes Openly Gay Leaders

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Europe leads the United States in electing openly gay leaders, with groundbreaking figures such as Guido Westerwelle (pictured), the new foreign minister of Germany, and Johanna Sigurdardottir, the prime minister of Iceland, to name just a few. The European edition of Time looks at the reasons behind the progress.

Some observers attribute the European gains to changes in legislation, according to Time.

"It helps that Europe's liberal laws -- 18 European countries allow gay marriage or same-sex civil unions, and gay couples in nine countries can adopt children -- have largely normalized perceptions of gays," reports Time. "Christophe Girard, the deputy mayor of Paris, believes the legal framework for gay partnerships has 'forced respect.'"

Advances in social attitudes and the decreased influence of religious conservatives in Europe also make a difference. Read more here.

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Julie Bolcer