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Belgium’s gay hope

Timothy Kincaid

December 4th, 2011

20111204-141656.jpgI have to admit that my knowledge about Belgium and Belgians doesn’t extend much past Hercule Poirot and Godiva chocolates. And, of course, Belgium holds the distinctive honor of becoming, in 2003, the second nation to offer its gay citizens full marriage equality.

Now Belgium appears to be on the verge of claiming another Second Place, becoming, after Iceland, the second nation to appoint an openly gay Prime Minister.

The small European country has shared its neighbors’ economic woes over the past several years. A year and a half has gone by since it’s last national election without a government being formed. But now the majority Dutch speaking country has settled on a Prime Minister, a French speaking son of Italian immigrants. And the least controversial thing about the selection of Elio Di Rupo is that he’s gay.

While my own political persuasions think that socialism is not likely to be Belgium’s solution, I wish Elio well.

Comments

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tavdy79
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

I doubt merely wishing Elio well will be enough. Praying for a miracle might be more helpful, because to lead a country like Belgium – which isn’t so much a nation as a civil war without weapons – a miracle is what Elio will need.

I’ve long since given up wondering if the country will split, and am now only wondering when, and what will happen when it does.

Timothy Kincaid
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

and, of course, the all important question is: if Belgium splits, will Albert II be King of the Flemings or King of the Walloons.

Richard
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

“Socialism” in the European political sense means social democratic or ‘left-of-centre’.

Charles
December 5th, 2011 | LINK

I don’t know the man’s politics or the issue that dominate Belgium. I applaud that he is running for Prime Minister, but don’t know whether I would support him. I am not going to support him just because he is gay.

Kevin
December 6th, 2011 | LINK

‘Socialism’ is indeed left of center here in Europe. He heads a coalition of right wing and left wing parties from the northern part and the southern part… so his policies will be… as usual central…

Two good things: his homosexuality is not an issue, on neither side of the linguistic border…and he has made policies towards LGBT safety a key priority (in law complete equality has already be achieved).

On another note: hardly a civil war going on here… much less than in certain area’s of the worlds biggest cities…really an overhyped tabloid like statement like seems to be in fashion these days…

Timothy Kincaid
December 6th, 2011 | LINK

Thanks for the clarification about Belgian socialism. You’ll have to forgive my ignorance.

Europeans readers sometimes marvel at the bizarre peculiarities of American politics. And rightly so. Our “American way” of doing things can certainly easily lend itself to mockery. Political buffoonery is almost a cherished national tradition.

But I think I’m entitled to chuckle at the notion of a nation that crafted a constitution, decided that it would like to be a monarchy, and then set out to shop for a monarch. “Duke of Nemours, would you like to be king? No? Okay, how about you, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. You were raised in Germany, your wife was next in line in Britain ’til she died, and you’ve turned down the throne of Greece, why don’t you be King of the Belgians?”

So why ever should I expect Belgian Socialists favor socialism? Not a necessity I suppose. American Republicans certainly love uniformity when it comes to social policy and American Democrats can get decidedly dismissive of the majority at times.

But, nevertheless, I’m certain that if the centrist socialist monarchy of Belgium is in the midst of a civil war, it will be a most civil one. We are talking about Belgians, after all.

DN
December 6th, 2011 | LINK

Here’s all you need to know about Belgium:

It’s a nice place to live, but I wouldn’t want to visit there :)

I’ve never been to a more friendly country.

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