Adam Polaski

Gay Candidate Steps Down from Irish Presidency Race

Filed By Adam Polaski | August 02, 2011 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: David Norris, Ezra Nawi, gay politicians, Ireland, parliament

DavidNorris.jpgLGBT rights activists have been buzzing for the past few months about David Norris, an openly gay man who was considered a frontrunner for the role of the presidency of Ireland. He was vying for a nomination for the presidency, and if he had received the nomination, the senator would have been the first openly gay person to have done so in Ireland. If that had turned into winning the presidential election on October 27, Norris would have been the first openly gay person elected to a presidency in Europe.

Today, Norris announced at a press conference that he is stepping down from the presidential race. He cited a burgeoning scandal that has surfaced in recent weeks concerning his former lover, Ezra Nawi.

Nawi was accused of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy in 1992, and Norris wrote a letter asking for clemency for his former lover, using paper from the parliament to reaffirm his position of power. The plea was unveiled in late July of this year, and the Irish blogosphere and media exploded about the letter.

Today, Norris admitted he was wrong in submitting the letter, showing favoritism for his Nawi. He cited the loss of control that has resulted from the media storm surrounding the plea letter as his reason for stepping down. He said:

At the beginning of my campaign I pledged that I would fight exclusively on what I saw as my strengths and what I could contribute to the welfare of the Irish people. I believe that I have done so with the dignity and decorum that would be rightly expected of any presidential candidate.

It has always been a principle of mine not to yield control of my life or my principles to others.

The recent frenzy threatened to erode that principle and it is now time for me to reassert as far as possible control of my life and destiny.

Norris also addressed his unique status as an openly gay presidential nomination hopeful in Ireland. He acknowledged the significance in his speech today:

I have also demonstrated that it is now possible for a gay person to be seen as a viable candidate for the highest office in the land.

I would have loved to have had the opportunity as president of Ireland to extend that to the service of the entire people but that is no longer possible.

The election is now entering a new phase of reality and I hope that it will be conducted in a way that is dignified and respectful of the office of President and of the remaining candidates.

The entire speech is available on Norris' website.

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Om Kalthoum | August 2, 2011 4:33 PM

Translation: "It's all the media's fault."

I grew up on that island. This is nothing to do with him being gay.

Ireland has just come through a nightmare set of scandals regarding people in positions of power in the community, namely religious people, raping tens of thousands of children. Then it turns out that Norris tried to assist a man convicted of raping a 15 year old to escape justice.

Anyone who supports a man who has sex with a 15 year old, is no better than those who turned a blind eye to priests who raped children.

Norris is not only not fit to be president of Ireland, but since it has become clear that he gave active support to someone who had sex with a 15 year old child, it is clear he should not be allowed to hold any form of position of power in Ireland.

Anyone standing by Norris, really needs to take a long hard look at themself in the mirror.

The attitude of Norris to sex between adult men and teenage boys, clearly makes him unfit for public office.

The Partner of Norris was prosecuted because he was with a 15 year who was under the legal age for sexual relationships. The childs maturity is nothing to do with it. The maturity of the child is a regular excuse given by paedophile priests/nuns in Irish courts after they have sexually attacked children, in both Northern and Southern Ireland.

I am horrified to see so many from the LGBT community stand by him. By supporting Norris they are attaching LGBT to the opinions of Norris in the eyes of the public.

Paedophiles can not aquire children for sexual purposes without some adults consciously or inconsciously turning a blind eye to what is happening, contrary to what some over politically correct people may think or delude themselves into believing.

Anyone who makes excuses for paedophilia in any form from the LGBT community is actively attacking the LGBT community by giving every homophobic and transphobic bigot, an excuse to attack LGBT people.

Those who turn a blind eye to paedophilia and make excuses for paedophilia are just as bad as paedophiles in opinion.

Paedophilia and any method of excusing paedophilia in all communities of any description in our society, needs to be faced down by every citizen, regardless of who or what they are.

The opinions of Norris needs to be condemned by all LGBT people, not condoned.

Just FYI: if Iceland is considered a part of Europe, which I think it mostly is. Europe has already had an openly gay president.

Ok, no. It's not necessary to have an in-depth knowledge of all forms of government, and if you choose not to go looking for information on the ways countries not yours work, thats up to you. Just don't comment about them. For starters, in Iceland it's their prime minister, and Prime minister does not equal president. Head of executive does not equal head of state in many countries, so no, there never has been an openly gay president/ head of state in Europe. I may as well say Barney Frank being elected to congress is the same as an openly gay person being elected to the White House.