Bil Browning

First Gay Irish President (Redux)?

Filed By Bil Browning | September 12, 2011 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: David Norris, first gay president, Ireland, Irish President, sex scandal

Earlier this year Irish Senator David Norris seemed almost certain to be Ireland's first gay President, but a scandal forced him to withdraw his candidacy. He abandoned his campaign after a controversial letter he wrote to the 220px-David_Norris_politician.jpgIsraeli government surfaced. In the letter he petitioned for clemency for his former partner who was convicted of having sex with a 15 year old boy.

Norris, who's hugely popular in Ireland, is considering rejoining the race after a "consistent outpouring" of support from the public. He faces an uphill climb though since most of his former fellow politicians withdrew their support over the scandal.

...Mr Norris has just over two weeks to secure the 20 political nominations he needs to get his name on to the presidential ballot paper.

With the 28 September deadline for nominations looming, time is not on his side.
Despite facing numerous difficulties, Mr Norris does have one ace up his sleeve.

Although, the clemency controversy cost Mr Norris a number of political allies, it did not hamper the public's fascination with the openly-gay, Joycean scholar.

When the letter to the Isreali authorities was released back in July, Mr Norris admitted he made a "human error", but insisted it was borne solely from a sense of love and concern for his former partner.

He bowed out of the race, taking with him much of the public's interest in October's election.

Norris has led Ireland's campaign for LGBT rights for the past decade and is a staunch liberal.

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Rachel Bellum | September 12, 2011 9:33 PM

I've read that his odds of successfully running now are low because he'll be doing so as an independent.

I can't help thinking it would be good if he won, or even mounted a notably successful campaign. However, I also can't help thinking that I have mixed feelings about that letter.

Isn't it funny that there's so much trouble getting an LGBT group in the St. Patrick's Day parade in NY, but barring this scandal a gay Irish President was looking like a real possibility?