Showing posts with label Gay Prime Minister. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Prime Minister. Show all posts

March 17, 2019

Miracle of St Patricks (believer or Not) Peace in Ireland and A Gay Prime Minister With His Husband

 Irish Prime Minister with His Huband

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar said gay people should not be judged by their sexual orientation in a pointed speech delivered in front of Vice President Mike Pence, reports the Daily Mail.
Varadkar, who is one of only three openly gay world leaders, and his partner, Matt Barrett, are visiting Washington, D.C. at the invitation of President Trump to mark the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The first stop on their tour was breakfast the vice president’s residence, on the grounds of the Naval Observatory, where they met with Pence, Pence’s sister, Anne Pence Poynter, and other dignitaries.
In the speech, Varadkar, the son of an Indian immigrant, said he was fascinated by American politics, which inspired him to run for office and “drive change.”
“I knew at the time that I lived in a country where, if I tried to be myself at the time, it would have ended up breaking laws, but today that is all changed,” Varadkar said. “I stand here leader of my country, flawed and human but judged by my political actions and not by my sexual orientation, my skin tone, gender or religious beliefs
“I don’t believe my country is the only one in the world where this story is possible. It’s found in every country where freedom and liberty are cherished,” he added. “We are, after all, all God’s children. And that’s true of the United States as well, the land of hope, brave and free.”
Varadkar’s comments were interpreted by critics of the Trump administration as a rebuke of Pence, who became known for his conservative Christian beliefs opposing homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and the expansion of LGBTQ rights or protections in both employment and the nation’s hate crime laws when he served as a U.S. congressman.
Pence has also been criticized for allegedly supporting conversion therapy — a charge that his office continues to deny to this day — and for his decision, as Indiana’s governor, to sign the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allowed businesses to refuse service to people if doing so would violate their religious conscience. After intense criticism and financial backlash from major companies, Pence later signed a law clarifying that the bill was not intended to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
Pence’s wife, Karen, who came under scrutiny earlier this year after accepting a job at a private school that bars openly gay students and staff and threatens them with expulsion is they engage in “homosexual or lesbian activity,” was not present because she is in Abu Dhabi attending the Special Olympics.Later in the day, Varadkar and Barrett were invited to a bipartisan luncheon on Capitol Hill with President Trump and congressional leaders.Image result for Irish pm and his partner

Later in the day, Varadkar and Barrett were invited to a bipartisan luncheon on Capitol Hill with President Trump and congressional leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
They then met with Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the White House for the traditional St. Patrick’s Day shamrock ceremony and reception — making them the first openly gay foreign leader and unmarried same-sex partner to be invited to the White House.
On social media, Varadkar’s comments at the breakfast with Pence were met with glee by LGBTQ activists and opponents of the Trump administration.
“That special day when Leo Varadkar—Ireland’s young, openly gay, biracial son of an Indian immigrant—prime minister brings his partner to a meeting with Pence. I hope they take many pictures,” wrote one Twitter user.

“I know next to nothing about Leo Varadkar but I LOVE that he took his boyfriend to meet Mike Pence. Look how uncomfortable that homophobe looks,” wrote another.

February 19, 2019

Ireland With a Successful Brown Skinned Gay MP Elected When Irish Trump-like Taught Them Their Error

Leo Varadkar 2016.jpg
The openly gay son of a Hindu immigrant father from India and younges elected PM of Ireland

 The Irish Times

When Canadian MP Dr. Hedy Fry first came to Dublin in the 1960s, there was “one Chinese restaurant, one Indian restaurant. It was very insular.”

Fifty years after her graduation from the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, the longest-serving woman in the history of Canada’s House of Commons says the country has “changed enormously”.
“When women won the right to choose, when that referendum [on the Eighth Amendment] passed, when gay marriage passed, I kept saying to people, ‘this is not the Ireland I knew’.”

Born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1941, Fry turned down a place at Oxford University, England to study medicine in RCSI, graduating in 1968 before emigrating to Canada in 1970.

Speaking to The Irish Times during a visit to Dublin for the annual RCSI charter day recently, Fry said the fact that Ireland has a “brown-skinned, gay prime minister” shows how much the country has changed since then.

Like Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Fry practiced medicine before entering what she calls the “scuzzy business” of politics, working as a doctor at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver for two decades.
There, she earned a reputation as a tough negotiator on medical matters at local, provincial and national levels, serving as president of the British Colombia Medical Association in 1990-1991.
“I was one of these people who poked my nose into doors, opened them, walked into the room, looked at everybody and went ‘Yo! I’m here!’”

Fry says her “big mouth” gained the attention of the then Liberal Party leader Jean Chrétien, who encouraged her to stand in the 1993 federal elections in the constituency of Vancouver Centre.

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The Tel A Friend Gay Switchboard was an LGBT lifeline in Ireland in the 1980's
The Tel A Friend Gay Switchboard was an LGBT lifeline in Ireland in the 1980's

Healthcare and rights

To her surprise she won, unseating the prime minister of the day, Kim Campbell, in the process.
“I thought I was sure to lose. I thought I’d write about it one day when I got back to being an ‘author’ and I thought I’d write about what it was like to run against a sitting prime minister. But I won and I was shocked when I beat her.”

At 77, Fry is also Canada’s oldest MP, winning elections on eight consecutive occasions focusing on healthcare, human rights, and LGBTQ2+ issues.

In the cabinet, she has held the post of secretary of state for multiculturalism and status of women and has been the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s special representative on gender issues since 2010.
Prime minister Justin Trudeau faces his first electoral test since his Liberal Party swept to victory in 2015 when Canadians vote in federal elections later this year.

Asked whether populism could have an impact at the polls, Fry says Canada is a liberal nation that embraces multiculturalism and she believes that voters learned the value of that history after the Conservative party’s victory in the 2006 elections.

“I think the country woke up like the United States did with [President Donald] Trump and went, ‘OMG, what did we do?’ and yet they thought, ‘They can’t be so bad. This is Canada’.”
Global politics

The conservatives under prime minister Stephen Harper held on to power for nine years, during which time the party veered further to the right and, like Trump, Harper began to move away from participation in global politics.

Fry says this opened the door for the Liberal party and Trudeau.
“People were feeling uneasy with the government of the day, thinking this is not Canada, and suddenly ‘Captain Canada’ decides to run and people just felt like they could trust him.”

The Liberals are expected to retain their majority in October’s elections, but Trudeau’s popularity rating is at its lowest ever, amid ethics inquiries and criticism over his handling of the economy.
As the son of the late former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, “people always thought of him as a kid”, says Fry. She believes he is still popular with voters, but “now he can be judged on his own record”.
Fry herself will run in October’s elections, aiming for a ninth straight victory in the Vancouver Centre constituency.

What advice does she have for those coming up behind her?
“You’ve got to leave a mark behind to say because I passed through this place the world is just one millimeter better. Because I did something, the world is a better place. I think that gives us a purpose.”

A thought from Adam: I can only hope the US goes the same way as Ireland. After having a PM from the strict right they went he opposite. Thinfs were not going well and Ireland was being left bejind in the past. The tumbled the other way around electing someone who whose ethnicity  and sexual orientation have received the worse reviews from the whites in Ireland and people that think they are spcial because they were lucky to be borned in a country that wears shoes and have plenty of food to eat but like to put down others different than they. I love the irish and I've learn that no mater how stubburn they might seem to be they are smart and they do look at the consequences of elections. This is part of people tthat listen to the facts and can see how they can be applied to their own lives. No matter how much you like how good it sounds to be part of a certain party or say you are conservative that alone will not get you a job, education or put foood on the table. 
Im hopping we go the same way even though I don't trust voters anymore. To have a President like Obama, not perfect but someone who was smart and paid attention to govern and do the best job he could do. He was not a lazy ass who doesn't read instead likes to atch tv and get his next act either from a cowboy movie or some crazy dudes that get pay to say the most outrageous things (they would not be employed if they other than what they are). From Obama to go the opposite to Trump a tv personlity and that a great one at that. I'm afraid this nation will pay for that sin for years to come because the damaged being done is serious and is internal and outside the borders.

For most of the 20th century, LGBT Irish citizens were forced to live in a kind of exile in their own country, with the laws, the church and public opinion all working in concert to make their lives invisible or intolerable.


September 19, 2018

In Serbia The PM is Lesbian But She's Been Told Not To March in With The LGBT in Pride

Serbian head of government at Belgrade's Pride, Belgrade, Serbia, September 2017Image copyright

Image captionAna Brnabic is the first gay head of government in a Balkan country
It's the only Balkan country to have an openly gay prime minister  so why are some of Serbia's LGBT activists determined to keep PM Ana Brnabic away from Gay Pride? 
When Ms Brnabic was appointed last year, hopes were high in the LGBT community: not only was she the first woman to head the Serbian cabinet, she was also the first LGBT politician to hold such high office in the Balkans.
She marched in the 2017 Pride parade in Belgrade, surrounded by posters reading "Ana is here," and took selfies with dozens of people. 
But one year on, progress is scant: LGBT rights have not improved, new laws are still far from being adopted and there has been no fall in the number of attacks on gay people.
In largely conservative Orthodox Christian Serbia, a candidate for EU membership, discrimination and violence against the LGBT community are widespread. 

Two gay Prides, one gay PM and no end to problems

Ahead of 2018 Pride, a group of activists disappointed with the slow pace of reforms launched a campaign called "Say no". Its main goal is to prevent politicians from attending Pride marches, as campaigners believe they have done little to strengthen LGBT rights.  
Ms Brnabic is the main focus of their campaign, because her "work on strengthening LGBT rights has been disappointing," said a statement from the organization behind the campaign, GLIC.
Anti-gay protestors surrounded by police at Belgrade Pride in 2014.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe first peaceful Belgrade Pride happened in 2014, but anti-gay protesters also took to the streets
Speaking at the 2017 parade, Ms Brnabic said that LGBT rights would be addressed only after important problems such as inflation, pensions and the standard of living had been resolved. 
"It was a scandalous statement," Predrag Azdejkovic, the head of GLIC, told the BBC. 
Unhappy with the efforts of other gay activists, Mr Azdejkovic started another parade in June. Its goal is to "bring the gay march back to ordinary people and away from politicians". 
"They say: 'You have a gay prime minister, two parades, you should be content'. But it's all just made up," said Mr Azdejkovic. 
For Serbia's LGBT community, everyday life is still marred by widespread homophobia: a survey by the regional ERA organization showed that every fifth gay couple in Belgrade gets rejected when trying to rent a flat.
The situation is even gloomier outside the capital, activists say.
The government has adopted the Law against Discrimination but cases rarely come to justice. Another survey done by ERA showed that 90% of people in Serbia are against giving LGBT couples the right to adopt, while about 70% are against gay couples inheriting a partner's belongings after death. 
Same-sex marriage is still illegal in Serbia.

Bleak history

Anti-gay protestors surrounded by police at Belgrade's pride, Belgrade, Serbia 2014.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionAround 100 people were injured when anti-gay protesters clashed with police during Belgrade Pride in 2010
Serbia's first Pride parade in 2001 ended in violence when hundreds of hooligans and extremists attacked a peaceful march despite a heavy police presence.
And in 2010, about 100 people were injured when that year's march was also attacked in central Belgrade. 
In the years that followed, the interior ministry refused security clearance for the parade to take place. Only in 2014 did the marchers return to the streets, again with considerable police presence.

Make-up and LGBT rights

Four years later, the LGBT flag welcomes visitors to the Pride Info Centre that opened its doors to the public in central Belgrade. 
"If we had opened the centre 10 years ago, I am sure it would have been demolished," said Goran Miletic from Civil Rights Defenders, the organizer of Belgrade Pride. 
"Some of the people passing by stop and comment. They say, 'faggots' and then they leave. That is a step forward — some people don't like what they see, but we are still here. It is a small, but a significant step forward."
belgrade pride 2017.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionFor Serbia's LGBT community, everyday life is still marred by wide-spread homophobia
Talking to Belgrade's Pride magazine, Ms Brnabic said that not supporting the gay march would be hypocritical.
"For me, this is a way to make an active contribution to dealing with stereotypes and prejudices," she said. 
For the organisers of Belgrade Pride, having the head of government in the front ranks is a way to show the LGBT community that the country is changing. 
"Politicians have to be part of the parade and send the message that 'gay is ok'," Mr Miletic told the BBC. 
There is gay and there is "me" first and gay if it fits where is going to help "me".
I learn a long time ago that because someone is LGBT does not mean they will serve the LGBT community. It applies to any human been in any political process. You have blacks who did not back reform on civil rights, they felt fine the way they were and did not want to rock the boat. Even during the Trump campaign Vs. Clinton in 2016 there was a commercial on cable in which you had this Guatemalan lady preaching how good Trump will be for immigrants. As it turned out she was one of the first one to be depoted because they knew where to find her, who she was and her papers were not in order. 
There was a councilman where I live and I came to his office asking for help in regard to a hate crime in which I needed a little back up to be taken seriously by the police. He never even called me to say I can't help, Im afraid of cops or love them too much or what ever. I got him once in from of a camera and reporters and he said hit had to do with cops and he didn't get involved. He didn't get anywhere as councilman and the party did not support him for any open position so he is running for judge now. That probably means he did a favor to someone in the party and that would be his pay out. 
The man is gay but would not qet get involved in gay hate crime which at the time just before the supreme court decision on Gay Marriage were coming out faster than gays.

June 16, 2017

Serbia Will Be Having its First Gay Prime Minister


The president of Serbia has nominated a gay woman to be his prime minister in a double first for the deeply conservative Balkan state.
Ana Brnabic was chosen by the new President, Aleksandar Vucic. Her approval by parliament will be largely a formality, as his party and its allies hold an overwhelming majority.
Just a few years ago, the appointment would have been unthinkable.
But EU hopeful Serbia can present it as proof of increasing tolerance. 
Ms. Brnabic is not only Serbia's first openly gay PM, but also the first woman in that post.
"I believe that Brnabic has professional and personal qualities to be prime minister," Mr Vucic told reporters, "and that along with other ministers she will work on improvement and progress of our Serbia."
He made no mention of her sexuality.

Evidence of profound change in attitudes to homosexuality?

The symbolism of the appointment is real, but it comes against a backdrop of ingrained and sustained antipathy towards homosexuality. It may be more of a harbinger of change than evidence that change has already occurred.
Police research in 2015 found that almost half its officers agreed with the statement "homosexuality is an illness that should be treated", reports the BBC's Guy De Launey in Belgrade. 
Even the leader of one of the smaller parties in the president's coalition, Dragan Markovic Palma of Unified Serbia, said Ms. Brnabic was "not my prime minister".
He was recently quoted as saying that the new prime minister "should be a family man who knows what children are".

So what do these hostile attitudes mean in practice?

They mean gay people face discrimination and threats to their physical safety. Belgrade's Gay Pride march was banned for three years in succession on grounds of public safety after far-right protesters attacked the event in 2010.
It was revived in 2014 amid huge security, including special forces and armored cars.
But since then, civil society organizations have reported that some individuals taking part have lost jobs as a result.
A banner referring to the upcoming gay pride parade is displayed amongst supporters of Partizan Belgrade FC, 17 September 2009.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionHostility to the 2010 gay pride march in Belgrade led to violence, after which the event was canceled for several years
An anti-gay Serb protester holds an Orthodox icon in front of riot police in the centre of Belgrade during the country's second ever Gay Pride march on 10 October 2010Image copyrightAFP
Image captionAdvances have been made to protect gay people under Serbian law, but homophobia remains rife

Why is Serbia socially conservative?

It is in the region as a whole, and then there is the influence of the Church - whether Orthodox in Serbia or Catholic in Croatia, our correspondent explains.
Church-affiliated campaigners in Croatia forced a referendum in 2013 which rejected same-sex marriage. A 2015 referendum in Slovenia failed in its bid to legalize same-sex marriage.
Far-right parties, which represent a small minority of people in Serbia, have suggested the new prime minister was not a home-grown choice but "the choice of the West".

That's an allusion to Serbia's EU ambitions. Are they right?

That's the cynical interpretation - that President Aleksandar Vucic is using Ms Brnabic's nomination to demonstrate Serbia's adoption of EU values in the hope that Brussels will overlook other shortcomings. 
But symbolism may carry weight, in this case, our correspondent says, and lead people to reassess their attitudes towards sexual orientation.
Another element is that Mr. Vucic may see Ms. Brnabic as a safe choice for prime minister - competent but without a party base - who will not be a threat to his own power.

What about Ms. Brnabic's qualifications for the role?

She joined the government last year, serving as the minister for public administration - one of the least enviable jobs in the government. 
Serbia's public sector includes many Yugoslav-era businesses, some in desperate straits, as well as a sizeable civil service. In office for less than a year, she was introducing an e-governance system designed to cut down on red tape and was behind the introduction of IT as a mandatory subject in schools, our correspondent says.
As a moderniser, she does seem well placed to continue the job of implementing the reforms needed for Serbia to gain accession to the EU - such as improving relations with Kosovo, reforming the judiciary, and promoting the rights of minorities - including the LGBT population. 

What does Ms. Brnabic say?

Since joining the government last year, Ms. Brnabic has tried to place the focus on her qualifications rather than her sexual orientation, asking: "Why does it matter?"
On accepting the nomination to become prime minister, she said she wanted to serve her country and would be working on goals "that are bigger and more important than all of us individually".
Nonetheless, her appointment was welcomed by Belgrade Pride organizer Goran Miletic, who told the Guardian that it "can only be a positive message". 
Ms. Brnabic will join a small number of gay prime ministers to lead governments in Europe, including Leo Varadkar in the Republic of Ireland and Xavier Bettel in Luxembourg.

June 15, 2017

Ireland's First Openly Gay Prime Minister Takes Office

Ireland's newly elected prime minister, Leo Varadkar, shakes hands
 with members of a crowd gathered outside Leinster House, the seat
 of Irish Parliament in Dublin.
Peter Morrison/AP
When Leo Varadkar assumed power in Ireland on Wednesday, he blazed a trail of firsts: At 38 years old, the biracial son of an Indian immigrant father and Irish mother became the country's youngest-ever taoiseach, or prime minister.
He also became the first openly gay man elected to lead the Republic of Ireland, where homosexuality was illegal until just 24 years ago.
Now, as newly elected leader of the ruling Fine Gael party, Varadkar has delivered his first speech to Parliament and received his seal of office from the country's president, Michael D. Higgins.
"The government that I lead will not be one of left or right because those old divisions don't comprehend the political challenges of today," Varadkar told lawmakersWednesday.
"So the government that I lead will be one of the new European centers as we seek to build a Republic of opportunity," he continued, "and that is a republic in which every citizen gets a fair go and has the opportunity to succeed and in which every part of the country has the chance to share in our prosperity."

Despite Varadkar's firsts, Irish media and voters are "not obsessed with his sexuality or his racial origins," The Guardian's Henry McDonald tells NPR's, Ari Shapiro. Rather, it's the center-right politician's policies that have been the subject of significant debate.

"Some people label him a Thatcherite," McDonald says. "They think he's a kind of a son of Margaret Thatcher, the British prime minister — right of center, very pro-free market, you know, in the style of Thatcher and Ronald Reagan."

These rightward-leaning economic stances stand in contrast with Varadkar's generally liberal positions on abortion rights and other social issues — and they drew criticism from Varadkar's rival for his party's leadership, Simon Coveney. Varadkar, who defeated Coveney earlier this month, appointed him the party's deputy on Tuesday.

Varadkar cemented his win Wednesday, with a confirmation parliamentary vote of 57 to 50, with 47 abstentions.

His predecessor, Enda Kenny, lauded the man he'd nominated as his replacement.

"As the country's youngest holder of this office, he speaks for a new generation of Irish women and Irish men," he said earlier this month, according to the BBC. "He represents a modern, diverse and inclusive Ireland and speaks for them like no other, an Ireland in which each person can fulfill their potential and live their dreams."

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