Kathleen Wynne has been elected to serve as Ontario’s first female premier—and the first openly gay leader of a Canadian province. Members of the Ontario Liberal Party voted for former cabinet minister over opponent Sandra Pupatello after three rounds of voting. Wynne replaces Dalton McGuinty, who resigned as Premier and Leader of the Liberal Party.
Wynne, 59, is married to Jane Rounthwaite, but didn’t come out until she was 37 and has three kids from a previous marriage. She’s also the holder of two masters degrees, one in linguistics and one in education.
Here’s a snippet from a statement she released after the win:
“Let’s put something on the table: Is Ontario ready for a gay premier? You’ve heard that question.
Let’s say what that actually means: Can a gay woman win?
When I ran in 2003, I was told that the people of North Toronto and Thorncliffe Park weren’t ready to elect a gay woman.
Well, apparently they were.
You know, there was a time, not that long ago. When most of us in this race would have been deemed unsuitable, A Portugese-Canadian, an Indo-Canadian, Italian-Canadian, female, gay, Catholic- Most of us could not have hoped to stand on this stage, but this province has changed.
Our party has changed.”