Discussion:
WI: A Gay leader of a major modern world power
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jerry kraus
2017-07-13 18:55:57 UTC
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We don't appear to have had any openly homosexual leaders of major powers in modern times. Monsieur Macron of France may lean that way, I suspect, given his "wife" who's old enough to be his mother, and no apparent tendencies to adulterous relationships -- rather unusual, for a Frenchman. But, he's keeping it quiet, for the moment, anyway.

So, what would be the consequences of an openly Gay President of the U.S., British Prime Minister, or French President?
Insane Ranter
2017-07-14 01:52:02 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
We don't appear to have had any openly homosexual leaders of major powers in modern times. Monsieur Macron of France may lean that way, I suspect, given his "wife" who's old enough to be his mother, and no apparent tendencies to adulterous relationships -- rather unusual, for a Frenchman. But, he's keeping it quiet, for the moment, anyway.
So, what would be the consequences of an openly Gay President of the U.S., British Prime Minister, or French President?
Rainbow flags being burned on the White House Lawn by the Christian right?

Other than those loonies. If a gay person was popular enough to get elected then I would think that US society in general would be ok with it.
The Old Man
2017-07-14 09:55:44 UTC
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Post by Insane Ranter
Post by jerry kraus
We don't appear to have had any openly homosexual leaders of major powers in modern times. Monsieur Macron of France may lean that way, I suspect, given his "wife" who's old enough to be his mother, and no apparent tendencies to adulterous relationships -- rather unusual, for a Frenchman. But, he's keeping it quiet, for the moment, anyway.
So, what would be the consequences of an openly Gay President of the U.S., British Prime Minister, or French President?
Rainbow flags being burned on the White House Lawn by the Christian right?
Other than those loonies. If a gay person was popular enough to get elected then I would think that US society in general would be ok with it.
There was some talk about James Buchanan being gay, probably because he was the only bachelor to occupy the White House, but there was no real proof to the thoughts.

Regards,
John Braungart
Dan
2017-07-14 11:47:42 UTC
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Life has moved on in recent decades
In U.K. there were hints about Heath in the 70's

There was still a sense of surprise about openly gay cabinet ministers or MP's in the 1990's

Today Ruth Davidson is talked about as a future Tory leader and hence PM, her sexuality is mentioned but the idea that it would be a barrier is no longer even an issue.

On this one timescale is everything
The Horny Goat
2017-07-18 00:50:16 UTC
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Post by Dan
Today Ruth Davidson is talked about as a future Tory leader and hence PM, her sexuality is mentioned but the idea that it would be a barrier is no longer even an issue.
Kathleen Wynne has been premier (that's state governor to you
Murrcans) of Canada's largest province since 2013 and has had a female
spouse since 2005 - e.g. before she was elected.

She's in the middle of an election cycle right now and may or may not
be re-elected but that's the nature of politics. Ontario has 13+
million people which is more than several EU countries so she could be
the openly gay leader of the largest political unit about.

Any gay ruler of a larger country or territory?

The Horny Goat
2017-07-18 00:45:04 UTC
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On Thu, 13 Jul 2017 18:52:02 -0700 (PDT), Insane Ranter
Post by Insane Ranter
Post by jerry kraus
We don't appear to have had any openly homosexual leaders of major powers in modern times. Monsieur Macron of France may lean that way, I suspect, given his "wife" who's old enough to be his mother, and no apparent tendencies to adulterous relationships -- rather unusual, for a Frenchman. But, he's keeping it quiet, for the moment, anyway.
So, what would be the consequences of an openly Gay President of the U.S., British Prime Minister, or French President?
Rainbow flags being burned on the White House Lawn by the Christian right?
Other than those loonies. If a gay person was popular enough to get elected then I would think that US society in general would be ok with it.
Is a mistress a required piece of equipment for a French president?

As for asexual leaders Canada fought WW2 with Mackenzie King who was
definitely in love with power but so far as we know had no carnal
aspirations other than a Gladstone-ian desire to reduce the number of
street hookers in Ottawa.

I point out that many of the women presidents and prime ministers hook
up with are fairly young and inexperienced. Even Christine Keeler was
somewhat of a neophyte sexually (but still adept enough to bring down
Profumo). So was Monica Lewinski. I could name plenty more.n
Don Phillipson
2017-07-14 15:32:59 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
We don't appear to have had any openly homosexual leaders of major
powers in modern times. . . . what would be the consequences of an
openly Gay President of the U.S., British Prime Minister, or French
President?
Not much different from the British case of "confirmed bachelor" Edward
Heath (PM 1970-74.) The paradox for later historians will be how to
assess (1) posthumous accusations that he took part in a child abuse
ring and (2) testimony from closest friends that he was simply asexual.
Wikipedia summarizes the contrasting rumours
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
jerry kraus
2017-07-14 18:05:01 UTC
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Post by Don Phillipson
Post by jerry kraus
We don't appear to have had any openly homosexual leaders of major
powers in modern times. . . . what would be the consequences of an
openly Gay President of the U.S., British Prime Minister, or French
President?
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Don Phillipson
Not much different from the British case of "confirmed bachelor" Edward
Heath (PM 1970-74.) The paradox for later historians will be how to
assess (1) posthumous accusations that he took part in a child abuse
ring and (2) testimony from closest friends that he was simply asexual.
Wikipedia summarizes the contrasting rumours
----------------------------------------------------------------------


Well, the accusations were posthumous, and, if they hadn't been, he never would have become Prime Minister. I think that's the point, Don. "Confirmed Bachelor" doesn't challenge conventional values, really. Openly Gay still does. After all, what's the social utility of homosexuality, really? Zero, I'd say. Now, on an overpopulated planet, heterosexuality isn't of much value, either, so, homosexuality is much more tolerated. Nevertheless, there's really no reason to actively encourage people to be Gay. And, the main purpose of a leader is to "lead", to serve as a social role model. So, I'm still very skeptical about the likelihood of openly homosexual people being leaders of "great nations". Probably a lesbian with children would have a better chance, since women aren't supposed to be particularly interested in sex anyway, just in motherhood, per se. That's their "social utility". A male homosexual playboy I think would have a great deal of difficulty being taken seriously as a government leader of a major nation.
Post by Don Phillipson
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Don Phillipson
2017-07-14 23:01:31 UTC
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.. . "Confirmed Bachelor" doesn't challenge conventional values, really.
Openly Gay still does. . . .
When Private Eye was lively and Heath British PM, "onfirmed bachelor"
was standard Fleet Street code for "discreet homosexual." (The other
most common jargon was "tired and emotional" meaning incapably drunk.)
. . . the main purpose of a leader is to "lead", to serve as a social
role model.
Perhaps not in the Mother of Parliaments (cf. the election to PM of such
personalities as Clement Attlee and John Major. The British have responded
to leaders with more glamorous appeal (Lloyd George, Margaret Thatcher)
but being a "social role model" is not politically essential in the UK.
(This is
what the royal family provides.) Expectations in the USA or France do not
have to be the same.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-17 06:21:12 UTC
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Post by Don Phillipson
When Private Eye was lively and Heath British PM,
"confirmed bachelor" was standard Fleet Street code
for "discreet homosexual."
There is still no evidence whatever of Heath having
any sexual interests. Some people just aren't interested.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
Dan
2017-07-17 12:10:54 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Don Phillipson
When Private Eye was lively and Heath British PM,
"confirmed bachelor" was standard Fleet Street code
for "discreet homosexual."
There is still no evidence whatever of Heath having
any sexual interests. Some people just aren't interested.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.
http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
There were certainly suggestions made both while he was in office and subsequently that he was gay and if that had been proven at the time it would have mattered.

The tabloids were terrible to open or suggested Gay public officials in the 1980's and there was a period of "outing" because of closeted gay members of Tory party supporting anti Gay legislation.

Life has moved on openly gay backbench MP was rare but happened early 1990's, openly gay Minister came with Chris Smith in 1997.

By 2007 there were openly gay Ministers and shadow ministers in both major parties. By 2016 in the run up to one of the Debates on Brexit, it was suggested both Angela Eagle (Labour) and Ruth Davidson (Tory) should be on one side of the debate. Ruth responded by saying "are you sure you want 2 shovel faced Lesbians on the same side?" the people organising the debate had forgotten, but Ruth was aware some parts of the electorate it is still an issue.

The leader of the opposition in Scotland Labour Kezia Dugdale has just gone public with her new girlfriend, the talking point is not that they are gay, but that her partner is an active member of another party the SNP.

At the rate of change a PM in the 2020's or 2030's would not even be seen as a talking point.
Ivan Shmakov
2017-07-15 09:45:56 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
We don't appear to have had any openly homosexual leaders of major
powers in modern times. Monsieur Macron of France may lean that way,
I suspect, given his "wife" who's old enough to be his mother, and no
apparent tendencies to adulterous relationships -- rather unusual,
for a Frenchman. But, he's keeping it quiet, for the moment, anyway.
So, what would be the consequences of an openly Gay President of the
U.S., British Prime Minister, or French President?
Well, so far we only have Iceland, but I suppose with the law of
large numbers in action, and the public opinion becoming less
hostile towards, we're not unlikely to see that happening for a
major power in the next few decades.

[...] In 1980, Icelanders elected Vigdis Finnbogadottir as
president, the world's first directly elected female head of state.
She retired from office in 1996. In 2009, Iceland became the first
country with an openly gay head of government when Johanna
Sigurdardottir became prime minister.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland)
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Pete Barrett
2017-07-15 11:32:01 UTC
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Post by Ivan Shmakov
Well, so far we only have Iceland, but I suppose with the law of
large numbers in action, and the public opinion becoming less
hostile towards, we're not unlikely to see that happening for a
major power in the next few decades.
The newly-elected Taoiseach is openly gay. Surprising that it's happened in
Ireland, which has always had a reputation for social conservatism, but it
just shows how much has changed recently.
--
Pete BARRETT
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