The new gay politics - Macleans.ca

The new gay politics

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An interesting tangent near the end of John Lorinc’s piece this week on the current generation of gay politicians.

Still, there are subtle but significant differences between serving as an openly gay MP, MPP or city councillor, and holding a prominent political leadership role. Though most people take them for granted, the habits of high public office are steeped in the symbols of heterosexual marriage. At official functions, the prime minister or premiers are often seen with their spouses (typically wives), and greet visiting leaders with their other halves in tow. “I do think that’s a barrier,” Prof. Rayside says.

… With same-sex marriage now commonplace, some gay politicians – such as Mr. Brison, who has run and lost in two national leadership contests – have allowed their marriage ceremonies to become quasi-public events, thus giving voters a glimpse of customs that turn out to be familiar to most. Yet, in so doing, they may also face even greater expectations to maintain long-term monogamous relationships than do their straight colleagues.