In 2014 Should Gay Politicians Stay in the Closet by Jamie Gilcig POLL #cdnpoli

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.

jbairdcw1Can 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.

bobBernieShould 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.

Matthew Hays - photo via Facebook
Matthew Hays – photo via Facebook

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?

Wynne Truck CornwallWith 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?

Is it honest for a Politician to stay in the closet in 2014?

View Results

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What do you think dear viewers of CFN?  You can post your comments below.


  1. To me it doesn’t matter whether they come out of the closet or not. It has nothing to do with their ability to do their jobs.

    I think it was in bad taste what you said about Bernadette Clement.

  2. What the hell does a person’s gender or sexual orientation have to do with their ability to do a job? Thankfully, society is slowly getting past this BS.
    @ Jamie. Are you suggesting that it matters?

  3. Author

    No Furtz. I am a firm believer in equality and justice for all. CFN has championed and supported Pride events in Cornwall. We were media sponsors of the Vagina Monologues for two years and have the highest level of female contributors of any area media outlet. At one point we even gave the NDP some support and coverage. Now that’s equality!

  4. I had said your poll questions were ambiguous but actually I meant the possible choices in the poll.

  5. Sexuality should not play a factor if we are a truly open society.
    I have met and talked to Eric Duncan who has always been very cordial and respectful.
    One should always judge the individual by character and ability rather then their sexual preference, to do otherwise is discrimination.
    Some political parties consider having candidates that are “OUT” to give the appearance of “open-mindedness” and consider it an advantage.
    When our present premier was elected to lead the Liberals the media went frantic and more emphasis initially was put on reporting about her sexuality then her background and experience.

    I have many Friends who are gay and one in particular had applied for a government job and on the right side of the application was for individuals to check mark if they were aboriginal visible minorities etc. within the column was Gay/transsexual/bisexual .This friend stated he took offence with this and “why does it matter who I sleep with for me to perform the duties of the job!”

    Emphasis should be on ability to do the job and to even Question the sexuality is in itself discriminatory.

  6. Author

    I agree Chris. It should always be about merit and we all should be equal on all counts. Great comment!

  7. @ Jamie. Then why did you pose the asinine question? Apart from the usual religious fanatics and the odd hard-core cave-dwelling bigot, it’s not an issue. I’m surprised and disappointed that you’d be scraping the bottom of this particular barrel.

  8. Anybody knows my opinion and that is no I would not vote for anybody who is gay at all and not because he or she cannot do the job but it is a religious conviction as well as a moral one. That doesn’t mean that I hate gays but I do not approve of that at all.

  9. Author

    That’s very sad Jules. Would you not let a gay doctor tend you? I think the line is drawn when you don’t give people equal rights. Everyone deserves an equal chance to be Prime Minister; to be a teacher, or be a parent. I hope one day you change your opinion.

  10. Jamie (Admin) my answer has always been the same and no I would not have a gay doctor at all. I have my principals that I live by and I am a stickler on them. Everybody has their own opinions and that is great and I welcome them but mine have always been the same. I have mighty conservative views and not like the type of conservative government that we have but one who holds certain principals like my own. I will not vote in the coming election at all. I do not hate these people at all but will not support them.

  11. Yes Jules. We all know that you don’t approve of gay people. You’ve made that clear many times.

  12. Author

    Jules do you actually ask your doctors of their sexuality when you visit a new one? I can’t imagine doing that? Have you ever actually refused a service person? What if you were unconscious? We really will have to disagree on this. When I need help I want the best person available. I don’t care what religion they are, their colour, or who they like to snog.

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  14. Jamie I too want the best person to represent us but they don’t exist. For a long time now I have been looking into all of them and none of them represent us except for the banks and the big corporations. I have a moral character that cannot be changed. I like you very much and you are a wonderful person but those are my ways. I have met nice gay men in Cornwall when my husband and I would go for walks and one in particular was really nice and we spoke a lot with him. I have absolutely nothing against these people at all and would never hurt them in any way. I know plenty and I am trying my best to keep my big mouth shut which is mighty hard to do and I might as well put scotch tape on myself. LOL LOL.

  15. LOL hugger1

    “Jamie will print things he doesn’t agree with, however he will not publish personal attacks on someone else” hugger couple of months ago

    Hugger right now
    “I think it was in bad taste what you said about Bernadette Clement.”

  16. Furtzie
    would have to agree that this story seems designed to get page clicks rather than good journalism
    From using that very unfaltering photo of Ms Clement to suggesting she is hiding something seems wrong
    New Jersey gov Chris Christie was once described as being too overweight to be President
    If I were to suggest the same applies to Jamie it would be as bad as writing this gay politicians column
    “Not that their is anything wrong with that” aka Jerry Seinfeld

  17. Author

    Mel I get those aspersions all the time, and worse. It’s part of being in the public eye. Right now I’m fighting off totally false allegations left and right. Again, it’s sadly part of “choosing” a public life. If anyone one that makes that choice can’t handle it they should look for other work.

  18. Could the sodomites do any worse then the Liberals of the past, and presently for Ontario?

    Since true wisdom begins with the fear of God, which the majority of politicians definitely do no have today (including our Prime Minster – for not opening up the abortion debate). So does it matter who is at the helm, when the ship is sinking, listing so badly that it is about to go under. In the end, humanity is going to look to the coming Antichrist as they totally reject the true and living God. God laughs at human wisdom and ingenuity when it is nothing but further rebellion against His authority. Proverbs 1:25-26 “But ye have set at nought all my (God’s) counsel, and would none of my reproof:I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh”.

    Psa 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God”. Hell is a place where the restraining hand and grace of God is removed, sounds like what is going on in Cornwall’s and Ontario’s political screen! God have mercy upon us.

  19. @StopDrone/strikes: that was not a personal attack. I was stating that what Jamie said about Bernadette Clement was uncalled for. If he has proof to provide to back the allegation he should publish them. If not the allegation should not have been mentioned.

  20. I think it’s true that most people who obsess about the sexuality of others have serious issues with their own. It’s amazing how many of the most rabid bible-thumping homophobes turn out to be gay themselves. Do a net search for “gay preachers” to see for yourself. It’s almost laughable.

  21. Author

    A friendly reminder asking that people not attack other commentators. Debate the principle, not the person please. And keep it clean.

  22. I really see no issue with who people bed as an issue so long as it is amongst consenting adults. François Mitterrand had a Mistress for years and she even attended the funeral with his wife. It didn’t seem to matter there so why do we always bring living choices up here?

    I would think being gay would be much more respected if we don’t toss it into the main stream so much. If media would stop trying to earn a living on issues, people for the most part, really care less about. They too have to respect that someone may not agree with their way of life. Too bad, get on with living. I rarely see anyone else having any form or parades to celebrate how they live. If you are proud then hug your partner, marry them and be happy with yourself and stop trying to make everyone see it your way.

    In closing I have a comment that should stimulate some thought. If being gay is a good thing, why is it two men or two women are unable to procreate without intervention of man? Is it nature ensuring survival of people or mankind? Or is it truly wrong and mans intervention is again about to create a shift in mankind?

    If anyone thinks to accuse me of having a phobia, make very sure you offer to walk in my shoe and be prepared to enjoy all sides of life

  23. You make some sense Hailey. But as far as procreation is concerned, human beings are not an endangered species. Global population hit 7 billion recently. It has doubled since the mid 1960s.
    By the way, I was lucky enough to be born a white heterosexual male. I say lucky because I’ve never had to endure the bigotry, hate and judgement that is so often directed at gays and visible minorities.

  24. When did John Baird turn to the gay?

  25. Sorry Hugger1
    You missed my point..sorry
    You said Jamie never made personal attacks
    I believe what he said about Ms Clemont was personal
    thus an attack on her
    Thus you(hugger1) have to rethink your statement that CFN doesn’t make such attacks…thats all..
    “Good night and good luck” was Edward R. Murrow’s famous sign off.

  26. Dr. Furt writes “I say lucky because I’ve never had to endure the bigotry, hate and judgement that is so often directed at gays and visible minorities”.

    “…so often directed at gays and visible minorities” – does that include Christians? Or do they deserve such “bigotry, hate and judgement” in your eyes?

  27. As someone has said before this is Jamie’s sandbox. Thus he can do what he wants. I don’t always agree with what he does.

  28. Author

    Hugger I don’t always agree with what I do.

  29. Author

    Just a reminder. Our Mission Statement.

    Mission Statement

    CFN is an online newspaper whose Mission is to give voice to the many who’d never have an opportunity to have a voice whether via op-ed, letters, or comments on stories.

    To be non-partisan and allow voices to be heard even though our ownership, editors, staff, sponsors, and viewers may not always agree with them.

    For people to have voice, but still do so in a safe manner although they may be challenged strongly for those opinions.

    And that by creating a forum to share unfiltered news and opinions that we may as a society speak to each other and exchange ideas that can lead to growth of our culture, community and society in a positive manner and show people that they do count; their voices do count, and that anyone can change their world.

  30. If I may, Jamie, I’d like to respond to Mr. Newton’s comment directed at me.
    Mr. Newton, I have family and friends whom I love very much who identify as Christians, atheists, and everything in between. None of them seem to have the uncontrollable urge to pass judgement, or hurl vitriol at people who don’t share their beliefs or sexuality. You, Sir, are a special, and thankfully rare, sort of Christian.

  31. About Jamie’s sandbox yes it is his sandbox and he doesn’t put much through what I print and I respect Jamie for all what he does and he is right to choose what he wants to print or not to. Yes this is a place where you can give your opinions and better than a lot of places. I know plenty and have had a feeling for a mighty long time about a few mentioned. We want to find the best representatives for us and I really don’t know who would be best. The fiberals have put Ontario into a state of bankruptcy and are no good at all, the Con artists (Who dat) Hudak is a cousin of McGuinty #1 and all is left is that NDP lady and she does not have the personality to be a leader. Who else can we vote for?

  32. Furtz about the Bible thumping people who may be gay I beg your pardon but I am attractive to men and not women and I am a woman even though I use a strange addy. I can call myself Humpty Dumpty and it wouldn’t change anything at all. I am very religious and straight as an arrow. I am like an oak tree where I don’t bend and solid. LOL LOL.

  33. Please in the name of real Journalism
    Tell me it isn’t true that the top guy at the Ontario Press Council allowed himself to be pulled into the “dispute” between CFN and the XFiles facebook crowd
    From making decisions on the Toronto Star vs Rob Ford dispute they have sunk to sending letters like the one posted to the “leader” of that page
    If true consider my membership card(return to sender)

  34. Author

    yes Peter – he stood down over the Kilger T Shirt incident, but felt impassioned to assist that wacky guy whose facebook group was taken down for hate symbols and harassment. Mr. McCurdy has made Journalism and Ryerson proud! The CAJ also lay down and didn’t respond over the Kilger incident.

  35. WOW I sure am missing out about some wacky journalism and wacky Facebook. LOL LOL. ROLF! You have me laughing here and missing out on some goodies. Jamie your paper is never dull and I love it. I have to be wacky myself just now since I am having a good laugh. Thank you.

  36. not voting for someone because he or she is gay has nothing to do with morality ….its straight out bigotry …religious zealots tend to hit the nail on the head when it comes time to being anytning but christian…….morality has nothing to do with ignorance…bullshit…I know of three people on Counsel who are gay …if they don’t want to share it with us ..its up to them …right?…they do their jobs…its always the brainwashed who come up with such immoral questions……yeah…..the doctor can’t treat me cause he’s gay …? ….Jamie….This guys’ got it soo wrong….!

  37. Author

    Marc as I’m sure you know myself and CFN support free speech. I may not agree with many opinions, even when they’re wrong, but it is their opinions. We can only change some opinions by having safe and honest dialog.

  38. I have to wonder what the intent of this article was; being as how CFN has stated they are not only in support of free speech, but also equality.

  39. Well if nothing else Jamie I think this article provides proof that a “negative” type story brings way more readers and comments than a “Positive” article.

    Last week the top comment section(small box at the bottom of your main page) was all Jules and Hugger1

    Now with this story I am seeing comments from names that haven’t appeared here before. So while strongly disagreeing with the subject manner can’t blame you for doing whatever it takes to keep CFN afloat……well done Sir
    PS Would have to agree with Peter Jenkin that for a man who’s record included Journalism professor OPC head Mr. McCurdy should be held in contempt for not asking you for comment before sending his letter to XFLIES group leader

  40. Author

    Well his counterpart at the CAJ didn’t have his staff ask Mayor McGillis or apparently fact check the political smear LTE either. Journalism is becoming a scary place…

    BTW I don’t consider this story negative at any level. We are asking about issues of honesty, transparency, and yes, integrity of the people that spend our tax dollars and earn them.

    That’s not negative. Suggesting that people be judged on merit last I checked was not negative except for certain circles here in Cornwall…

  41. @StopDrone/strikes…..and the problem being exactly what when Jules and I decide to comment on stories?

  42. Furts writes – “None of them seem to have the uncontrollable urge to pass judgement, or hurl vitriol at people who don’t share their beliefs or sexuality. You, Sir, are a special, and thankfully rare, sort of Christian”.

    Maybe Furts you have never come across someone who actually believes what the Bible says, and believes one is to obey it in love? Even as you wrote -“You, Sir, are a special, and thankfully rare, sort of Christian”.

    1Co 6:9-12 “Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers, nor homosexuals,nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”.

  43. Mr. Newton. I guess the Christians that I know just don’t have enough hate in them to embrace your particular brand of the religion. And they certainly wouldn’t be my friends if they did.

  44. Author

    Message to strange people who try to leave odd comments. CFN is here to inform and entertain. I am not here to debate anyone, unless I actually want to have a debate. If I did wish to have a debate it most likely wouldn’t be a random act. When you write there are some people that like what you write and some that don’t. Some agree, and some froth at the mouth. I get that. Thousands and thousands of people read CFN. If you want to be whatever it is that those of you that insist on trying to be combative wish to be, I suggest you spend over five years covering news and writing over 8,000 pieces.

    Really; build your own audience. We’re very friendly and open here. We allow criticism. We will discuss and even answer regarding certain issues; but if you come on like some deranged drunken attacker you just get your comment trashed. Life is short; time is valuable and moderation takes time. If your comment doesn’t add to the positive experience to our viewers most likely it’s not going to get approved. It’s that simple and maybe, just maybe, some of you should consider….And for some of you rather than post an odd comment you can always email at

  45. @ Jamie. I suggest that you save and file all the crazy comments (publishable and otherwise) for future reference. I bet there would be enough material to inspire a book or two.

  46. Author

    you sir are not kidding 🙂 What makes you think I haven’t been doing that 😉

  47. With all of my crazy comments Jamie has a bundle and I bet this dear man goes to bed laughing after reading them along with others. That is one area of journalism that he can laugh at. LOL LOL. Believe me I laugh a lot at myself as well but I am no writer but it is left in the hands of Jamie.

  48. I do not care if a person is gay nor do I care whether they “come out” or not. I wait for the day when one of them states “I’m heterosexual”
    It’s none of our business and I did not like your article or maybe I don’t know the point of it.
    Maybe in 2014 a header like that is no longer valid.

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