CFN – In this day and age can a politician keep their sexuality private? Should gay candidates disclose if they are gay in 2014? Of course people are entitled to their privacy, but being a public servant is a role of trust.
In particular here in Canada is the Conservative Party which many have claimed has a “Glass Ceiling” for gay members.
Can John Baird for example, who has done some strong work advocating for gay rights in other countries, truly be himself as a Conservative in the Harper team? Can he become leader of the party and replace Mr. Harper at some point or would his sexuality be an issue among the party faithful?
Locally there are two prominent politicians that are closeted; one far more than the other although those close to them surely would not be surprised.
Should they be forthright with the public? Do we have a right to know?
Is Bernadette Clement for example a single gal or hiding a long time relationship even when stumping for MP or Council here in Cornwall?
I asked the amazingly talented writer Matthew Hays about this subject. Mr. Hays has been a long time activist as well as editor and contributor to multiple media outlets, as well as teaches journalism.
I would be genuinely surprised if a candidate were to run in 2014 in Canada and somehow expect to remain closeted about their sexual orientation. I suppose if they were in a very conservative party whose base was anti-gay, then perhaps they would remain closeted. But in this day and age, I would still find it surprising. I think what puts off many voters is hypocrisy and dishonesty in politicians and the system. If someone has the guts to be open about their being gay, my suspicion is that might even set them ahead of the pack.
Mr. Hays wrote a piece back in 2012 in Xtra LINK
Now that the National Post has declared the ruling Conservatives the new best friends of the gay community, it raises the question: if these people are such warriors for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans rights, why hasn’t even one of their MPs stood up and come out?
With Ontario having an openly gay Premier in Kathleen Wynne, and dedicated long term MP’s like Scott Brison is it honest for politician’s to stay closeted. Is it an urban vs rural issue? Are those in cities like Toronto and Ottawa more open and tolerant than say in Cornwall with our political cover ups and Project Truth?
Is it appropriate to ask a politician if they’re gay as has happened with current warden of the counties Eric Duncan, who’s on a fast track to becoming MP of our riding and is the mayor of North Dundas, and super helper to current MP Guy Lauzon? Should his sexuality impact his amazing achievements at such a young age and with many stating that he is the main cog of the local “Big Blue” machine which has led to massive majority wins for Lauzon and current MPP Jim McDonell as well as himself?
What do you think dear viewers of CFN? You can post your comments below.