Friday, February 01, 2013

Celebrity Friday: Ontario Now Has Lesbian Premier

Oh Canada! Kathleen Wynne has been elected to head the Ontario Liberal Party, which means that she will become the Premier of the Province of Ontario, Canada. Ontario contains the nation's capital city Ottawa as well as its largest city, Toronto. A Province in Canada is equivalent to a State in America and a Premier is the equivalent to an American governor. However, due to the parliamentary system the people do not directly elect the Premier, Premiers are selected at party convention by members of parliament and other activists in the party or coalition which currently has the most number of seats in the provinicial parliament. It is this election which Ms. Wynne won, making her the first woman and first openly LGBT premier in the history of Canada, according to the Globe and Mail:
A policy wonk with a laid-back, likeable persona, Ms. Wynne successfully pitched herself as a woman ready to govern, promising to bring the legislature back next month and push forward the party’s agenda by working with the opposition.
Despite concerns she was too low-key to fight her way to victory, Ms. Wynne turned in a formidable performance at the convention, with a raucous entrance that saw her supporters dancing on-stage, followed by a speech that combined personal anecdotes with partisan rhetoric.
She also addressed, head-on, the worry some Liberals had expressed that an openly-gay candidate could not win a general election. She pointed out that the other candidates – a Portuguese-Canadian, an Indo-Canadian, a Catholic and a woman – would once have been thought unelectable.
“I don’t believe the people of Ontario judge their leaders on the basis of race, colour or sexual orientation,” she said to loud cheers from her supporters. “I don’t believe they hold that prejudice in their hearts.”
The United States has never had an openly LGBT person elected Governor of a state and there are only a handful of openly LGBT people who have ever been elected to statewide office in this country. I wonder how long before there will be an openly LGBT governor of  a state?

After all, Tammy Baldwin was just elected to the United States Senate in November from Wisconsin. It is very likely that Christine Quinn will be elected Mayor of New York City later this year, which is probably a more powerful position than being governor of certain states. Annise Parker is currently in her second term as Mayor of Houston.

(It should be noted that all the LGBT people who are making significant gains in politics recently have been women, not gay or bisexual men.)

Hat/tip to Joe.My.God

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