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Ontario Elects First Open Lesbian To Premeirship

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Flag Canada Ontario (Photo credit: erjkprunczýk)

Kathleen Wynne has made history in Canada by being the nation’s first out LGBT premier, and Ontario’s first female premier. She won the position on the third ballot at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention. She got 1,150 votes to Sandra Pupatello’s 866. The fifty-nine-year-old is married to Jane Rounthwaite, and she believed that her sexual orientation would not be a factor in the vote, nor as the job goes forward.

She stated during the early part of the balloting that “The province has changed, our party has changed. I do not believe that the people of Ontario…hold that prejudice in their hearts. After the third balloting, she said “It is a remarkable night for us all.”

When Wynne began in politics close to two decades ago, she faced extreme prejudice.

On Saturday, Wynne said, in part:

Let’s put something on the table: Is Ontario ready for a gay premier? You’ve heard that question.

Let’s say what that actually means: Can a gay woman win?

When I ran in 2003, I was told that the people of North Toronto and Thorncliffe Park weren’t ready to elect a gay woman.

Well, apparently they were.

You know, there was a time, not that long ago. When most of us in this race would have been deemed unsuitable, A Portugese-Canadian, an Indo-Canadian, Italian-Canadian, female, gay, Catholic- Most of us could not have hoped to stand on this stage, but this province has changed.

Our party has changed.

I don’t believe the people of Ontario judge their leaders on the basis of race, colour or sexual orientation – I don’t believe they hold that prejudice in their hearts.

They judge us on our merits – On our abilities, on our expertise, on our ideas – Because that is how everyone deserves to be judged. That is how we want our children, our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews to be judged.

So, when it is time for me to take us into the next general election, I will do it on the basis of our merits, based on our success.

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