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

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

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...

Unionist Unionist's picture

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

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 Ken Burch's picture

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

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

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

[quote=Ken Burch]For the record...does anybody actually even KNOW for certain that Baird is gay?[/quote]

I'm quite certain that he is.

[quote=Ken Burch]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.[/quote]

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 Unionist's picture

[quote=Ken Burch]

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. [/quote]

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. 

[/quote]

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?”[/quote]

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

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...

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 Unionist's picture

[size=12] 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. [/size]

Mr.Tea

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

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

[quote=Stockholm]

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.

[/quote]

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

[quote=Stockholm]

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

[/quote]

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

[quote=Mr.Tea]

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.

[/quote]

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

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. 

KenS

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.

Stockholm

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

[quote=Ken Burch]

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. 

[/quote]

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

[quote=Stockholm]

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

[/quote]

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 

[quote=Stockholm]

 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.

[/quote]

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

Paladin1

[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.’”[/quote]

 

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 Ken Burch's picture

[quote=Lens Solution]

 

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

[/quote]

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

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

[quote=Summer]

[quote=Stockholm]

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

[/quote]

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.

[/quote]

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 Ken Burch's picture

[quote=Stockholm]

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

[/quote]

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

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

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

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

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

Unionist Unionist's picture

[quote=Stockholm]

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

[/quote]

Thanks for that! Got any skinny on Cheri?

 

Brachina

[quote=Stockholm]

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

[/quote]

 

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

 

Brachina

[quote=Goggles Pissano]

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.

[/quote]

 

 Agreed.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

[quote=Stockholm]

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

[/quote]

uh...."apparently"?  That's good enough attribution for you?

The issue here, Stocks, is not that the media(to my knowledge)or anyone here feels that something is wrong with being gay.  It's about whether "outing" someone is ever appropriate.  It's about the natural human right to privacy, and the right of everyone to decide on their own terms(assuming they aren't being a gaybashing hypocrite in the performance of their public duties)how public they will and will not be about their sexuality. 

The fact that Baird is a Conservative cabinet minister is not justification for outing him(if there is anything to be outed about).

And this particular demand was made of him after he took a strongly pro-LGBTQ position regarding the Sochi Games and the Russian gay pogrom law-it's not like he was supporting Putin on the issue...so there's even less justification to make the demand of him.

And Ms Dinovo(a person who has taken a weirdly ambiguous stance towards her own sexual identity)has little moral or personal authority to be making the demand herself. 

MegB

We have openly gay MPs, Ontario has an openly lesbian premier. What the hell this has to do with politics I don't know. Well, yes, I do know. It has absolutely nothing to do with politics.

terrytowel

I know for a FACT that John Baird is gay. That is all I will say on the matter. So we can end the speculation now.

Unionist Unionist's picture

[quote=terrytowel]

I know for a FACT that John Baird is gay. That is all I will say on the matter. So we can end the speculation now.

[/quote]

Aw, no way, c'mon, pretty pretty pleeeeze, tell us stories, pleeeeeze, photos? Testimonials? Finally, a solid source! C'monnnnnn!!!!

PS: Why don't [b]YOU[/b] make the announcement in Moscow? Arm in arm with Cheri DiNovo?? You'll be Canadian heroes! Do it, yeah!!!

NDPP

Like flies to shit, Canucklheads are far more likely to be drawn to dreck and dross like this pedalled by no difference partier DiNovo then they are to critically important foreign policy decisions being made on their behalf re: Libya, Syria, Palestine etc. As to who John Baird's fucking, it's us...and them.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/palestinians-will-face-cons...

Stockholm

So why do we keep "outing" politicians for being heterosexual? Isn't it an invasion of privacy for the media to tell us that a public figure is married to or has a significant other of the opposite sex? In fact, why should we ven be told who is male and who is female. Its their private business whether they have a penis or a vagina. and why do news reports always state a person's age. Why is that so important. We should have rules whereby the media is only allowed to report on someone's age if that person has first given them written permission to do so.

Unionist Unionist's picture

It's refreshing to have such a clear exposé of the face of the NDP which I reject - that of the ideas put forward by DiNovo and Stockholm. A useful reminder of the work that needs to be done.

 

lagatta

Actually, I am in favour of much more "privacy" in the sense of concentrating on the issues, and not the Americanization of politics that makes such a big point of blattering on about politicians' "family lives".

I'm very glad now that public figures - and ordinary people - can now be openly gay or lesbian. But it is their call. Part of heterosexism is heteronormativity - assuming people are straight. And in some reactionary religious communities (whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or other) even coming out as a sexually-active heterosexual can be difficult or even dangerous, especially for young women.

Sineed

Glass closet

http://dailyxtra.com/toronto/news/glass-closet?market=210

[quote=Matthew Hays of Xtra]We know there may be a few, though Xtra’s policy on outing has always been clear: we don’t do it. But the media’s handling of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, in particular, highlights the struggle mainstream journalists have in handling the public profiles of politicians and their supposedly private lives.

Just to set the record straight, it was not some nasty commie queer activist who outed Baird. It was another Tory. On Feb 2, 2010, Conservative candidate Pamela Taylor, who was then running for Ontario provincial office in a by-election, was asked, while on a morning radio chat show, if she could name a single gay Tory. “Openly gay? John Baird,” she responded. 

Baird had long been identified as gay in the blogosphere, where, it seems, such things dare speak their name. Up until that point, the mainstream media had avoided the issue.

<snip>

But proponents of outing — that is, the act of pushing public figures out of the closet against their will — have long suggested that such acts are entirely justifiable where hypocrisy is involved. Simply put, if you’re working against the rights of queer people, you’ve abdicated your right to remain in the closet. 

This question becomes more complicated with Baird, seeing as he is now criticizing governments in other parts of the world for their homophobic policies. Since fighting homophobic laws abroad seems to be part of his agenda, isn’t it then fair to bring up his sexual orientation? To ask Baird how he works within the Conservative Party, given that we know many of its MPs and supporters are hostile to queer rights? [/quote]

Open Secret: Conservative Cabinet Minister John Baird outed (Xtra, Feb. 7, 2010)

http://dailyxtra.com/canada/news/open-secret-conservative-cabinet-minist...

One of the articles linked in this post quotes a source who states that the mainstream media doesn't talk about Baird's sexuality because that's what he wants. As long as he isn't a hypocritical Republican about it, fucking rent boys at night and passing anti-gay legislation during the day, surely it's his own personal private business. Much as I deplore the policies of the Conservative party, the fact that our media don't make hay about Baird's sexuality sets a gay-positive example the rest of the world might follow.

Cheri's stance is weird. She says, “Now we need [Baird] to stand up,” DiNovo says. “We have an openly gay foreign minister..." 

Okay - so if he's already openly gay, why does he need to come out?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

[quote=Stockholm]

So why do we keep "outing" politicians for being heterosexual? Isn't it an invasion of privacy for the media to tell us that a public figure is married to or has a significant other of the opposite sex? In fact, why should we ven be told who is male and who is female. Its their private business whether they have a penis or a vagina. and why do news reports always state a person's age. Why is that so important. We should have rules whereby the media is only allowed to report on someone's age if that person has first given them written permission to do so.

[/quote]

Nobody gets "outed" for being heterosexual, for God's sakes.  There are no negative consequencs for being heterosexual.   And the hypocrisy issue that some cite to justify outing closeted right-wing gays doesn't exist, either.  You're not going to have people denying they are straight while making critical comments about straights and supporting legislation that discriminates against them.

And there's a major difference between the consequences a person faces when her or his age is revealed and the consequences a person faces when his or her sexual orientation is made known to people who may do horrible things to that person if they get that information.  Nobody is gonna get beaten and nailed to a rural fence in Wyoming because the people he was drinking with find out he's over forty.

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It's weird to demand that a political figure making LGBTQ-supportive statements come out as gay.  In one sense, it can actually harm the LGBTQ cause-because the demand essentially endorses the social conservative view that only gays would oppose the persecution of gays. 

It's not like Baird came out in support of Putin's hate law.  If he had, then a demand that he came out might be justified(if it were known with certainty that Baird actually WAS gay-if not, it would just be rumor-spreading).

But as long as their are consequences, sometimes, lethal consequences. to revealing one's sexual identity, there are strict limits as to who can make the demand for such a self-revelation and why the demand can be made.

And it's also strange that some seem to be arguing that DiNovo's demand here is justified simply because it's a way to attack a Conservative cabinet minister.  That kind of tactic has taken the Left to bad places in the past.

Unionist Unionist's picture

[quote=Sineed]

Okay - so if he's already openly gay, why does he need to come out?

[/quote]

Yeah, as I said in #9:

[quote]If it were common knowledge, then DiNovo wouldn't be calling on him to make it public.[/quote]

But I've been mulling this over. It's possible her religious beliefs are at play here - something about coming forward to be healed, or helped? Just a hypothesis. From the United Church Observer:

[quote]Q In your book Qu(e)erying Evangelism, you argue that the church needs queer people as much as queer people need the church. Explain.

A [Cheri DiNovo] Not just “queer” in the sense of sexually queer, but any people who experience themselves to be on the margins of society. Every good minister knows who those marginalized people are in their community — or they should find out. In my congregation, the most vulnerable were the queer sexually, the trans folk. The call upon all congregations is to minister to these people. That’s where our life, our soul is to be found. [/quote]

Heavy shit, that.

 

Stockholm

[quote=Ken Burch]

And there's a major difference between the consequences a person faces when her or his age is revealed and the consequences a person faces when his or her sexual orientation is made known to people who may do horrible things to that person if they get that information.  Nobody is gonna get beaten and nailed to a rural fence in Wyoming because the people he was drinking with find out he's over forty.

[/quote]

I'm not so sure about that, ageism is rife in our society and people are routinely discriminated against for being too young or too old. Why do we insist on exposing peoples age instead of treating it as a private matter.

Are you suggesting that if Baird announced he was gay at a news conference, he may get beaten up by gay-bashers??? or is that Harper has told him that if he makes any public statement about his sexuality he would be expelled from the Conservative caucus? which is it?

I think Cheri DiNovo is making ther point that LGBT people in Canada - esp. young people need more positive role models and that gay people in positions of power have some responsibility to set an example. Unfortunately its clear that Baird's only role model as a gay man appears to be J. Edgar Hoover

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Yes, Stock, ageism is an issue...but not to the point of a person of age being beaten simply because her or his age is discovered.

Baird himself probably wouldn't face physical retribution for "coming out"(assuming that he actually is gay)-and as an official of the Canadian government he could go to Moscow and openly disobey Putin's draconian new law without personal risk owing to "diplomatic immunity"-but there still are many cases in which a closeted LGBTQ person could face harsh consequences if they did come out, or even if they were somehow "outed"-look at the continuing phenonomenon of gay and lesbian Catholic school teachers being fired simply because their sexuality became known.  And physical gaybashing itself still is far from an extinct practice.

That is why great care must be taken in the decision to "out".

And, as a person who at one point self-identified as "queer" and has now self-revoked that label, it's a fair question as to whether Ms. DiNovo herself is a particularly good role model for LGBTQ youth in Canada.  I'd hold people like Scott Thompson and Tegan and Sara as far better examples of LGBTQ role models.

 

toaster

[quote=Stockholm]

[quote=Summer]

[quote=Stockholm]

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

[/quote]

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.

[/quote]

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.

[/quote]

I disagree completely with this.  You can make it part of your identity, but it surely isn't always the case.  There are many gay men who act/look/present themselves no differently than straight men.  The only difference being who they sleep with.  There is a lot of mischaracterizing and grouping of all gay people with those (of any orientation) who deviate from gender norms, particularly in the gay teen bullying literature, and I think we are seeing that here, too.

Unionist Unionist's picture

Kathleen Wynne got it right:

[quote]

Once people get to know each other, once there's a relationship and a trust built-up, then issues of sexual orientation don't matter, added Wynne.

"I've been travelling to every corner of the province since I became premier and not once has the issue of my sexual orientation, my lifestyle come up," she said. [/quote]

 

Stockholm

Getting back to the larger issue that sparked this which was Baird's muted but still extant criticism of the treatment of gays in Uganda and Russia. I think this is all a bit of convenient "pink-washing" on the part of the government. There are many countries around the world where people are viciously persecuted for being gay or lesbian - and in many of them the situation is far worse than it is in Russia or Uganda - yet we do NOT hear a peep out of Baird in those places.

Its very easy to attack Uganda and Russia. In the case of Uganda, its a tiny country in Africa with whom Canada has almost zero bilateral trade and on top of that its Africa and deep down a lot of people expect barbarism from the "dark continent" so its an easy mark. Then on to Russia, well we are not so happy these days with Russia, Putin seems not to be willing to play ball with the west over Syria etc...and Russia is being difficult with Canada over Arctic sovereignty etc...so its easy to attack Russia now that they are a "frenemy".

Notice that we NEVER see John Baird saying a word about Saudi Arabia where gays are actually routinely beheaded. Why? Because Canada imports oil from the Saudis and the Saudi government is considered a western ally. We also NEVER see Baird attacking the Karzai government in Kabul for its viciously anti-gay policies - i guess that would be inconvenient since Canada has spent billions of dollars and hundreds of lives keeping that regime in power. Apparently the most homophobic country on earth is Jamaica - we don't see baird saying a word in defense of gays in Jamaica - WHY? Because there are tons of Jamaican-Canadians and the Conservatives try to get vote among the more socially conservative elements in that community who attend evangelical churches and agree with the homophobic policies of the Jamaican government.

So before people start singing hosannas for John baird over his mild critcism of anti-gay policies in Russia and Uganda - take all of ther above into consideration there is a larger agenda at play.

Unionist Unionist's picture

Well well, Stockholm - at last we are in violent agreement. Well said!

 

pookie

But none of that has anything to do with why Baird should out himself, Stockholm, as CDN claims.

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