WANT TO DANCE WITH KATHLEEN WYNNE, ONTARIO’S FIRST LESBIAN PREMIER?
Kathleen Wynne and her partner, Jane Rounthwaite, can be seen at many gay and lesbian functions. It is, therefore, possible to ask one of them for a dance. Anytime I have seen them, they are laughing and enjoying the company of ‘the sisters.’ Kathleen and Jane have been together since 1990; both being involved in Liberal politics.
On January 27, 2013, Kathleen made history by being elected Ontario’s first openly gay Premier. She will take office on Monday, February 11th. Wynne put the ‘gay issue’ up front and centre.
I want to put something on the table,” she said during a speech Saturday while seeking the leadership post. “Is Ontario ready for a gay premier? You’ve heard that question. You’ve all heard that question. But let’s say what it actually means: can a gay woman win? That’s what it means. Not surprisingly, I have an answer to that question. When I ran in 2003, I was told that the people of North Toronto and the people of Thorncliffe Park weren’t ready for a gay woman. Well apparently they were. And so is Ontario.
Ontario and the rest of Canada ruled that same-sex marriage was constitutional in 2004 and Wynne reminded the delegates who had the power to elect her Premier, that other changes have happened, too.
You know, there was a time, not that long ago, when most of us in this leadership race would not have been deemed suitable. We would have been deemed unsuitable. A Portuguese-Canadian, an Indo-Canadian, an Italian-Canadian, female, gay, Catholic. Most of us could not have hoped to stand on this stage. But the province has changed. Our party has changed.
During the campaign, Kathleen was labeled an “extremist lesbian’ in literature distributed by the “Concerned Citizens of North York and North Toronto.
Kathleen has an exemplary record in politics. In 200
6 she was promoted to Ontario Minister of Education. Four years later, she became Ontario Minister of Transportation, and in 2011 she was appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Aboriginal Affairs. As with the saying, ‘behind every successful lesbian, is another successful lesbian,’ well, Jane is a powerhouse too. President & Principal of the Osborne Group, (Management , Consulting and Training) Chair of Fundraising at Don Valley West PLA, (Liberal Party), and a volunteer at Kinard foundation (supporting children’s mental health, she is another force to be reckoned with.
Kathleen is an inspiration to many. Lesbian and gay students can see her achievements, and witness her courage to stand up and say, “I am, what I am.”
Notes of Interest:
Canada has a Prime Minister and each of its ten provinces has a Premier. It has a population of more than 12 million. Ontario is home to one in three Canadians. Ontario, after Quebec, is the second largest province. Ottawa is the capital of Canada, but Toronto claims its right as Canada’s largest city (Pop over 4 million). Ontario has 1/3 of the world’s fresh water. The official flower is the trillium and the official bird is the loon. Canada’s symbol is the beaver.