A Greek American businessman was elected to lead the largest opposition party in Greece, becoming the first out gay leader of a political party in the country’s history, and now he’s ready to become Greece’s first gay prime minister.
Stefanos Kasselakis, 35, received 56.69 percent of the over 130,000 votes cast in elections to lead the leftist Syriza party, defeating former labor minister and early favorite Efi Achtsioglou, who had positioned herself as the more experienced candidate.
Kasselakis replaces Alexis Tsipras, a former prime minister who resigned as head of Syriza following disastrous losses in recent parliamentary elections.
Kasselakis was born in Greece but went to the U.S. to study at the Phillips Academy prep school and eventually graduate from the Wharton Business School. During this period, he spent time working on Joe Biden’s 2008 presidential campaigns. He later worked as a trader with Goldman Sachs before founding his own shipping company Swift Bulk.
Kasselakis is out and married to Tyler McBeth, a nurse he met while living in the U.S. Kasselakis mentioned McBeth during his acceptance speech to Syriza supporters: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for welcoming him and embracing him,” he told the crowd.
Marriage equality is not recognized in Greece, and while the pair married in the U.S., their relationship will be considered a civil partnership in Greece. Kasselakis promised to reform the country’s anti-LGBTQ laws if elected.
Stefanos Kasselakis and his husband Tyler McBeth