Gay Candidate David Norris Wins Irish Presidency Nomination

Will Ireland’s next president be a gay man? A couple of months ago, with David Norris’ campaign apparently dead in the water, it seemed unlikely. However, he has had a dramatic turnaround in his fortunes, and has led in recent opinion polls. In a dramatic last-minute burst to the nomination finishing-line, he secured the backing of Dublin City Council, and with it a place on the ballot.
There’s still the campaign and election to come, of course – but just to have an openly gay man on the ballot, and regarded as a front-runner, is itself a remarkable demonstration of how far acceptance of queer equality has come in this overwhelmingly Catholic country.

Ireland’s most prominent gay rights campaigner has secured the nomination to stand for the Irish presidency after winning the support of Dublin city council.

Senator David Norris, a Trinity College Dublin academic, will stand against six other candidates, including Martin McGuinness, the former IRA chief of staff turned Sinn Féin deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, and the former Eurovision song contest winner Dana Rosemary Scallon.

In a vote on Tuesday night, 13 councillors backed Norris, six opposed his nomination and 11 abstained.

He only needed Dublin city’s backing to put his name forward before Wednesday’s noon deadline for nominations. Under Ireland’s electoral laws potential presidential candidates need either the support of 20 parliamentarians or the backing of four local authorities in order to stand for the poll in October.

Norris said he was “absolutely thrilled and over the moon. I believe I will be the next president of Ireland”.”

and from CNN:

Sen. David Norris completed an extraordinary comeback Tuesday, securing the political backing he needed to get onto the ballot after withdrawing over a sex scandal in August, then changing his mind and jumping back into the race.
He leads the field, according to an opinion poll published in the Sunday Business Post this week, followed by Michael D. Higgins of the Labour Party and McGuinness, the Sinn Fein politician who stepped down as deputy first minister of Northern Ireland to run for president of the republic.
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