"Is BC ready for an openly gay premier?" Excuse me?

Back in the mid ‘90s I was covering the Union of BC Municipalities annual general meeting for the Province newspaper and Mike Farnworth, then minister of municipal affairs, was pacing in the lobby of the convention centre preparing to deliver a luncheon speech in the dining room beyond.


Addressing the UBCM is probably the biggest speech a municipal affairs minister will give in any calendar year and Mike was staring at his speech with an expression of some concern. Curious, I approached.

He looked up and said: “Listen to this. This is what my staff wants me to say: ‘Hi my name is Mike Farnworth and I’m a straight shooter.’

“I can’t say that!”

We both had a great laugh and life went on.

Of course Farnworth was referring to the fact that he is gay … a little bent as they say on the street and certainly not “straight” as sexual preference goes. He was having a little joke at his own expense.

Unlike that poser former MP Svend Robinson who turned his gayness into a bad soap opera, Farnworth has quietly got on with his public life as an MLA and has left the private bits private.

But now, a main stream journal of no less self-importance than the Globe & Mail has asked the burning question: “Is BC ready for an openly gay party leader and potential premier?”

You’ve got to be joking.

How can it possibly be that Farnworth’s sexual orientation is suddenly worth 1,000 words in our national newspaper just because he is the front runner to win the leadership of the NDP?

In search of relevance the Globe & Mail found a willing voice in the Vancouver gay community to declare that a gay NDP leader is not going to be welcome outside the sexually tolerant and savvy urban centres of BC. We are left to surmise that in small communities where witch burning, gay bashing and colour bars prevail, Farnworth’s gayness will be a vote killer.

And, the Globe & Mail wonders why its credibility is waning.

Liberal leadership candidate Christy Clark is suffering similar triviality in the main stream media over the fact that she is a single mom. Her marital status was never an issue when she was pulling down six figures as CKNW’s afternoon talk show host instead of home making lunch for son Hamish. Now, that she wants to serve BC in the capacity of premier, she is somehow disabled because she’s a single mom.

What exactly would the main stream media have us ponder here: That gays are distracted by societal snickering; that single moms are distracted by turnkey guilt?

It’s all a bunch of nonsense that distracts us from the real issue … their stand on a variety of issues and their ability to deliver on their promises.

Is it any wonder why the main stream media is being eclipsed by social media?

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