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ONDP MPP Cheri DiNovo calls on John Baird to come out of the closet

Lens Solution
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Thu, Aug 8, 2013

 

On the heels of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s strong condemnation of Russia’s anti-gay laws, Ontario NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo and others are calling on him to come out publicly as a gay man. 

DiNovo made the comments at the #TOwithRussia solidarity march in Toronto on Aug 3, which was part of an international day of protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws. The event attracted about 400 people who marched from Church and Wellesley streets to the Russian consulate at Church and Bloor streets, where many left messages in chalk at the entrance and rainbow flags draped over the front doors. (See Xtra's video coverage here.) 

 

DiNovo joined Liberal MPP Glen Murray and NDP MP Craig Scott, who both gave passionate speeches demanding action by the Canadian government and the International Olympic Committee.

 

 “Now we need [Baird] to stand up,” DiNovo says. “We have an openly gay foreign minister. We want him to go to Russia, stand on Russian soil and say, ‘I’m gay. Deal with it.’”

 

More here:

 

http://dailyxtra.com/toronto/news/come-the-closet-want-help-russian-gays...


Comments

Ken Burch
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(self-delete...realized I didn't have enough solid intel to post what I posted there.  Sorry).

 


Unionist
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Christ, she's offensive. What business is anyone's sexuality to her? And did she ever apologize for voting for a crackdown on Israeli Apartheid Week? Or are she and Baird still on the same wavelength on that one?

 


Stockholm
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Clearly when John Baird went into politics he decided that his role model would be J. Edgar Hoover as opposed to Harvey Milk. It must suck to be him!


Ken Burch
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For the record...does anybody actually even KNOW for certain that Baird is gay?  And what is DiNovo's point here?  It's up to Baird to come out or not, and it's not as if a heterosexual person couldn't have said what Baird said about the Russian gay pogrom law.

This just seems really murky and inappropriate, and it's hard to understand why Baird's personal sexuality should be Dinovo's concern at this particular moment. 


Aristotleded24
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Ken Burch wrote:
For the record...does anybody actually even KNOW for certain that Baird is gay?

I'm quite certain that he is.

Ken Burch wrote:
This just seems really murky and inappropriate, and it's hard to understand why Baird's personal sexuality should be Dinovo's concern at this particular moment.

I don't think it's Baird's orientation that is at issue. Russia has implemented restrictions against gay people, and there is an international backlash against that decision. I'm assuming Di Novo is asking Baird in this context, and feels that him coming out would increase international pressure on Russia to reverse this decision.

Mind you, international pressure doesn't seem to faze the Russian government much anyways.


Unionist
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Ken Burch wrote:

For the record...does anybody actually even KNOW for certain that Baird is gay?  And what is DiNovo's point here?  It's up to Baird to come out or not, and it's not as if a heterosexual person couldn't have said what Baird said about the Russian gay pogrom law.

Correct.

Quote:
This just seems really murky and inappropriate, and it's hard to understand why Baird's personal sexuality should be Dinovo's concern at this particular moment. 

It's DiNovo's modus operandi. When she spoke in favour of the attack on Israeli Apartheid Week and made the horrific vote "unanimous" (Andrea Horwath had to retract afterward), friends and allies of hers felt naturally betrayed.

She blew a gasket, deleting friends from her Facebook page, claiming (though not to the cops!) that she and her family were the victim of "death threats", etc. One out gay friend criticized her severely for her anti-democratic stand - to which she replied "as a queer woman". This was March 2010. Came as a bit of a shock to her friends and colleagues, and maybe her husband - but really, how is that any of our business??

Then, 17 months later, we are treated to this gem:

Quote:
“I wouldn’t consider myself queer now. I mean, I’m monogamous, married for 13 years. On what basis would I claim that now?”

Indeed.

Ms DiNovo seems to think her sexual orientation (perhaps that should be plural) are of great interest to the public, especially at a time when she should have been apologizing for and retracting her cowardly support for Peter Shurman's attack on IAW.

It's no wonder, then, that the bedrooms of others would, in her twisted world view, be fair game for the public spotlight as well.

 

 


lagatta
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God, I never thought I'd be defending a Tory minister. Attack him on his policies (or such matters as concern use of the public purse).

His sexuality is nobody's business, unless, perhaps, he makes a specific anti-LGBT statement or course of action.


socialdemocrati...
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Don't know the background of this... but if Baird's sexuality isn't common knowledge and she's "outing" him, that's pretty low. Even with the best of intentions. There might be narrow circumstances where you might out someone for being a secretly gay homophobe, as an act of self defense as if to say "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". But that's certainly not this. I would want our government to stand up for gay rights internationally, regardless of what their sexuality is, and bringing personal secrets into this is extremely bad form.


Unionist
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If you don't know about Baird's sexuality (as I don't), then youcan be damned sure it's not "common knowledge". If it were common knowledge, then DiNovo wouldn't be calling on him to make it public. DiNovo is essentially a guilt-complexed homophobe. She should deal with that in private. And everything else.

Mr.Tea
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I don't know or care whether Baird is gay. His sex life is his business and it's completely inappropriate for DiNovo to make these kinds of comments. I'm not usually a fan of Baird but he was at least good in strongly condemning the anti-gay laws in Russia. Though, as others pointed out, every decent person should denounce such laws, their own sexual orientation being irrelevant


Stockholm
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Actually Baird has already been more or less "outed". In the lead up to the 2011 Ontario election the Ontario PC candidate in Toronto Centre was being interviewed on Metro Morning and was aksed why there were no openly gay Tory MPs or MPPs and she blurted out "that's not true, John Baird is gay and everyone knows that"! - there was no comment from his office and no retraction. Interestingly La Presse reported this while the mainstream English language press acted like nothing had happened and as usual they maintained their conspiracy of silence around public figures being gay.

For some reason there is no such discretion when it comes to heterosexual politicians. They don't seem to have to call a news conference declaring themselves to be straight in order for the media to feel free to report on who their opposite sex partners/spouses are.


Mr.Tea
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Stockholm wrote:

For some reason there is no such discretion when it comes to heterosexual politicians. They don't seem to have to call a news conference declaring themselves to be straight in order for the media to feel free to report on who their opposite sex partners/spouses are.

Well, being married or openly in a relationship would seem to be a "public declaration".

As for Baird, I mean, who cares? He's not like some hypocritical Republicans down south who vote against gay rights legislation while cruising airport men's rooms with a "wide stance" in search of blowjobs from other dudes. It's not like he's married and having affairs. Really, I don't see why John Baird's sex life should be of interest to anyone other than John Baird.


Mr.Tea
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Stockholm wrote:

For some reason there is no such discretion when it comes to heterosexual politicians. 

I think in general the media in Canada does far less reporting on scandalous personal lives of politicians than what we see in the States (see the recent Anthony Weiner and Elliot Spitzer sagas in the NY mayoral race).

In fact, there was a certain politician (who I won't name but I'm sure many people know) who invited me to his house for a gay pride barbecue and, within a couple minutes of each other, introduced me to both his wife and his boyfriend. It was an open secret for years and every journalist and political opponent knew it but it was never discussed publicly.


Stockholm
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Mr.Tea wrote:

As for Baird, I mean, who cares? He's not like some hypocritical Republicans down south who vote against gay rights legislation while cruising airport men's rooms with a "wide stance" in search of blowjobs from other dudes. It's not like he's married and having affairs. Really, I don't see why John Baird's sex life should be of interest to anyone other than John Baird.

Being gay is not just "a sex life" its an identity. I am interested in what would make a gay man ravitate to a party that was blatantly homophobic in the first place...but perhaps that's an issue between him and his psychiatrist.

Keep in mind that Baird was first elected provincially in the 1995 Ontario election as part of Mike Harris Common Sense Revolution. In that election campaign, the jewel in the crown of the PC campaign was their total opposition to giving any relationship recognition of any kind to same sex couples. In fact they ran vicious radio ads thoughout that campaign lambasting the NDP for wanting to give gay couples the right to visit each other if one was dying in the hospital.

I would be very curious to know what ran through his head as a young gay man running as a PC candidate when his party was blatantly pandering to homophobic sentiments and handing out literature that verged on hate propaganda against gays.

I think the reason why John Baird will never publicly announce he's gay - is because he doesn't want to ever have to answer questions like that.


KenS
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Actually 'common knowledge' that someone is gay is not the measure of whether they are 'more or less out'.

Scott Brison has been very open about being gay since he was a teenager. I think no small number of people knew when he was still in high school, and we're talking rural Nova Scotia in the 1980s. Certainly eveveryone locally knew when he went to university in Halifax, still was much around here, and very active in the local as well as provincial PC Youth. So the entire Ottawa press corps knew, and like Baird he never made the slightest attempt for people not to know.

But for his own reasons he did not want to be public about it, and he was not until he decided to run for the PC leadership, and it was bound to come out if he did not bring it up first. Only then did he do it.


KenS
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There is another prominent Nova Scotia politician with more or less the same common knowledge he is gay. He apparently balked at taking steps towards greater political ambition because of not wanting to take that step form 'everybody knows' to idenifying himself as gay. Same assessment as Scott Brison- if I want to take the next step, I will have to out myself rather than waiting to be outed.

He decided to stick with 'I dont want to pblicly identify myself as gay, so I wont go there.'

Remember. Most openly gay people do not have to get up on a public stage and say it to be considered open. If you tell the friends and family, if they dont already know, thats it. So most gay people are not presented with the choices an equally open gay who happens to be a politician has to make. 


Stockholm
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Its funny that no one has to hold a news conference to declare that they are catholic or Protestant or Jewish or Muslim...its one of those "everybody knows" things and the media certainly wouldn't think twice about mentioning it - we always hear for example that Tom Mulcair's wife is Jewish and the child of Holocaust survivors...did she issue a press release first so that the media knew it was OK to divulge such personal information?

Speaking of privacy, for some reason the Toronto Star sees no problem in publishing lurid details about Adam Giambrone's sex life and then calls him a "liar" because he doesn't feel like telling them all the gory details. i wonder why Baird doesn't get the same treatment. For all we know he may even have broken the federal law that still says you can go to jail if you engage in anal sex with more than two people present in the room.


Lens Solution
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Ken Burch wrote:

For the record...does anybody actually even KNOW for certain that Baird is gay?  And what is DiNovo's point here?  It's up to Baird to come out or not, and it's not as if a heterosexual person couldn't have said what Baird said about the Russian gay pogrom law.

This just seems really murky and inappropriate, and it's hard to understand why Baird's personal sexuality should be Dinovo's concern at this particular moment. 

I think what Di Novo is saying is that if the Conservatives want to demonstrate that they are now serious about gay rights, it's time to have an openly-gay member of their party.  They are the only major party in the House of Commons to still not have an openly-gay MP.  The NDP and Liberals both have openly-gay MP's.

It is unusual in the year 2013 for a Western government to still not have a single openly-gay MP.  Even the British PC Party has openly-gay MP's and PM Cameron recently voted for gay marriage.

NDP, Liberals & BQ have all had openly-gay MP's.  Why not the Conservatives?


Summer
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Stockholm wrote:

Being gay is not just "a sex life" its an identity. 

This comment is absurd.  Replace "being gay" with "being straight" and ask whether the sentence makes sense.  A person's sexual orientation, like their race, religiion, language is but one facet of the person.  Each person will chose his or her own individual identity.  Whether someone is gay or straight is their own business and Baird is under no obligation to make his orientation part of his public persona if he doesn't want to.

And don't even get me started on 

Stockholm wrote:

 i wonder why Baird doesn't get the same treatment. For all we know he may even have broken the federal law that still says you can go to jail if you engage in anal sex with more than two people present in the room.

For all we know, any one of the posters on Babble may have engaged in this form of sexual activity. So what? 


Paladin1
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Quote:
“Now we need [Baird] to stand up,” DiNovo says. “We have an openly gay foreign minister. We want him to go to Russia, stand on Russian soil and say, ‘I’m gay. Deal with it.’”

 

I'm not very astute with politics. What exactly would this hope to acomplish? Is Russia supposed to say oh shit Canada has a gay foreign minister, let's change our stupid and ignorant policy?

What if the shoe were on the other foot and the Russians sent an anti-gay minister over to Canada to publically say they think homosexuality is wrong, deal with it. It doesn't seem like an intelligent suggestion for us to do, does it?


Ken Burch
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Lens Solution wrote:

 

Even the British PC Party has openly-gay MP's

Small point.  The Conservative Party in the UK is not referred to as "the PC's"-the adjective "progressive" was only attached to a conservative party in Canada(and there only in the late 1950's, when Diefenbaker took over a party that had been in opposition for almost twenty straight years and was desperate to have that party shed its image as a group of hidebound right-wing extremists) in Britain, the abbreviation "PC" refers to Plaid Cymru, the(more or less left-wing) Welsh nationalist party.


Otherwise, you made a great series of points in that post.


Stockholm
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Actually the Conservatives in Canada added the prefix Progressive much earlier then that. it happened in the early 1940s when John Bracken became leader of the party and he was Premier of manitoba and had roots in the old Progressive party. When he became Tory leader he insisted the the party name become Progressive Conservative


Stockholm
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Summer wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

Being gay is not just "a sex life" its an identity. 

This comment is absurd.  Replace "being gay" with "being straight" and ask whether the sentence makes sense.  A person's sexual orientation, like their race, religiion, language is but one facet of the person.

I never said that a person's sexual orientation was their ENTIRE identity, but its part of their identity. My point is that being LGBT or being straight is a part of a person's identity in a way that is analogous to being Black or Muslim or Francophone. Its not just a person's sex life - that makes it sound like being gay is just a sexual fetish like like being into having someone lick your toes during sex. The Supreme Court rationalized "reading in" protection for gays and lesbians in the charter of rights and freedoms on the grounds that being gay was comparable to being part of a racial or religious community that was an identifiable group that was often discriminated against.


Ken Burch
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Stockholm wrote:

Actually the Conservatives in Canada added the prefix Progressive much earlier then that. it happened in the early 1940s when John Bracken became leader of the party and he was Premier of manitoba and had roots in the old Progressive party. When he became Tory leader he insisted the the party name become Progressive Conservative

I stand corrected.  Always associated it with "Dief the Chief", probably because, as party leader and prime minister, he embodied the concept of "progressive conservatism" more than anybody else ever seemed to(especially more than the last elected "Progressive Conservative" prime minister, Brian The Chin.


CanadaOrangeCat
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We have to credit Cheri for spearheading the increase in minimum wages under McGuinty, but she can say some surprising things. Trying to out John Baird is beyond the pale. However it is not out of character for her.


Stockholm
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Its funny that people talk about "outing" Baird. He is "out". Its not like he is some married man who has sex with men in public washrooms. Apparently he frequents gay bars and blatantly tries to pick up men and hands out his business card. He doesn't try to keep it a secret. The media are the ones who treat  being gay as if it was equivalent to having bubonic plague


Goggles Pissano
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Actually, is it really ethical to forcefully "out" somebody else?  I don't like the idea.  If the person is being obnoxiously hypocritical about it and slamming gay rights publicly and trying to lead a secret life at the same time, that is one thing, but I think that "outing" others without their consent is seriously wrong and harmful.


ygtbk
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So is the correct answer that John Baird is allowed to be gay? Holy Mackerel!


Unionist
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Stockholm wrote:

Its funny that people talk about "outing" Baird. He is "out". Its not like he is some married man who has sex with men in public washrooms. Apparently he frequents gay bars and blatantly tries to pick up men and hands out his business card. He doesn't try to keep it a secret. The media are the ones who treat  being gay as if it was equivalent to having bubonic plague

Thanks for that! Got any skinny on Cheri?

 


Brachina
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Stockholm wrote:

Its funny that people talk about "outing" Baird. He is "out". Its not like he is some married man who has sex with men in public washrooms. Apparently he frequents gay bars and blatantly tries to pick up men and hands out his business card. He doesn't try to keep it a secret. The media are the ones who treat  being gay as if it was equivalent to having bubonic plague

 

 How do people know this? Have you personally seen him do it or is it just a rumour?

 


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