May 9, 2011

Ireland Could Elect First Openly Gay President

Towleroad provides great world coverage of gay political news and, over the weekend, I spotted this story out of Ireland.  David Norris, a 66-year old out gay man in Dublin, is the front runner in the current race for Ireland's presidency.   While the election is still a a few months off in November, Norris who is a well-known Irish senator, has become the candidate to beat.  

The full story is over on Irish Central News, which notes that the Presidency in Ireland is not exactly the same as it is in other European countries.  There is still a separate prime minister who deals with more political issues but the presidency is a major position, the visibility of which has become increasingly important after two terms in which the current president Mary McAleese has made the job her own.  

I find this all very remarkable given Ireland's deep Catholic roots.  But Norris, whose popularity extends outside of urban Ireland, seems to transcend politics and sexual identity issues and has become the frontrunner due to the Irish love of outsider candidates who challenge the status quo.  It will be very  interesting to see how the rest of the campaign and upcoming election in the fall pans out. 

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