Ontario Pride

Ontario Elects Kathleen Wynne, First Openly Gay Premier

Kathleen Wynne has been elected to serve as Ontario’s first admin-ajaxfemale 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.”

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  • Shanestud

    Why does Canada have more rights and freedoms for gays, lesbians and transgender people than America? We’re 25 years behind Canada and we’re supposed to be the most free people in the world….sure. When a country like Canada has laws that protect gays and allows federal same sex marriage and has anti-hate speech laws it greatly impacts the wider community toward more inclusion and tolerance. Good for you Canada!!

  • niles

    I love Cloris Leachman.

  • Little-Kiwi

    Canada continues to be a shining beacon for what our species is capable of when we use our hearts and minds for their proper purpose.

  • Ruhlmann

    And this is how we do things in Canada. Congratulations Kathleen and congratulations Ontario.

  • Ruhlmann

    @Shanestud: Because we ignore our religious fanatics.

  • Daniel-Reader

    @shane Because the USA was founded on slavery by religious extremists and a metal statue built on such feet of clay never stands the test of time. The USA is the greatest plutocracy the world has ever known – a massive failed democracy now run by rich people who violate the human rights of millions.

  • MikeE

    A quick correction: she was not “elected premier”.

    She was chosen as the new leader of her party, which happens to be in power at the moment. Her predecessor was the one “elected” premier. He left mid-mandate. A leadership race then ensued, and Wynne was selected the winner of that race. She inherited the role of premier.

  • stadacona

    Don’t let facts get in the way of a good headline. Then again, Americans are infamous for their ignorance of foreign affairs. She was installed by party apparatus NOT elected by the people.

  • Shanestud

    @stadacona Thousands of delegates at the convention chose openly gay Kathleen Wynne to be their leader and Premier. Call me when the GOP or the Dems nominate an openly gay candidate at a Presidential convention to lead them into a US national election. That’s my kind of America (that I’ll never see). GIve credit where credit is due. A lesbian is now Premier of Canada’s largest province – a province almost twice the size of Texas and a population of 14.5 million people.

  • MikeE

    @Shanestud: Facts where facts should be presented.

    1) Ontario is not Canada’s largest province. Quebec is.
    2) Wynne (congratulations to her and to the Ontario Liberal party) was not “elected” by “Ontario” as the headline suggests. In the same way that Mitt Romney was not “elected by the people of the United States”. A party convention may use elements of the electoral process in its mechanism to select a party leader, but it is NOT “an election”.

    Canada has had openly gay leaders of major political parties in the past… quite far back, actually. Ontario is finally joining the rest of Canada in the 21st century. Let’s not overdo the praise. Ontario has been “the old boy’s club” for ever. Even the province of Alberta, home of the Canadian redneck, already has a woman as its leader.

  • Shanestud


    Thanks for your correction about Canadian geography.

    Please list the names of “openly gay leaders” of major political parties. That would be of value and interest

  • Thomathy

    It is more accurate to state that Kathleen Wynne has been chosen as Premier of Ontario. Canadians do not elect Premiers, they are merely the Leaders of the majority Party or of a coalition and are chosen by members of the Party.

    It’s actually an important fact, especially considering the extreme dissatisfaction many Ontarians have with the Liberal Government, with a provincial election possible any time before the official date of October 2015 (this is a minority Government) and the title of Premier being incidental it is not likely that we will have a lesbian Premier for very long.

    This is a distinction without import. I am unsure it has as much meaning as it is being given. Kathleen Wynne’s legacy is probably going to be tantamount to that of Kim Campbell.

Comments are closed.