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France Has Appointed Its Youngest And First Openly Gay Prime Minister

34-year-old Attal gained popularity as the government’s spokesperson during the COVID-19 pandemic and was later appointed education minister, when he banned Muslim women from wearing abayas in schools.

France has appointed education minister, Gabriel Attal, as its youngest and first openly gay prime minister.

French Education Minister Gabriel Attal
French Education Minister Gabriel Attal during the weekly cabinet meeting at the presidential Elysee Palace. (Photo by Christian Liewig – Corbis/Getty Images)

The 34-year-old politician was appointed by French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday Jan. 9th, as part of a cabinet shuffle.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin
French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal (R) sits by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (L) at the start of the first cabinet meeting following the appointment of a new government the day before. (Photo by Michel Euler / POOL / AFP)

Attal replaces Elisabeth Borne, who was the first French woman prime minister in over 30 years.

Prime minister Gabriel Attal greets Prime minister Elisabeth Borne
Newly appointed Prime minister Gabriel Attal (R) greets outgoing Prime minister Elisabeth Borne (L) at the end of the handover ceremony at the Hotel Matignon in Paris. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)

Attal gained popularity as the government’s spokesperson during the COVID-19 pandemic and was later appointed education minister in 2023.

france gay prime minister Gabriel Attal

In the role, he banned Muslim women from wearing abayas, full length robes, in public schools, which earned him support from conservatives but sparked protests from Muslim communities.

French Embassy protests against the ban on abaya
A group gathered in front of the French Embassy protests against the ban on abaya (long dress) in schools in France in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Macron’s decision to appoint Attal is seen as a strategic move to boost popularity ahead of the European Parliament elections in June.

France president Emmanuel Macron Gabriel Attal
France’s President Emmanuel Macron (R) stands next to French Education and Youth Minister Gabriel Attal (L) at the ‘lycée professionnel de l’Argensol’. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)

Attal is considered one of France’s most popular politicians according to opinion polls, with many speculating he may succeed Macron in the 2027 presidential elections.

gay prime minister Gabriel Attal france

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