Wednesday, 27 January 2016

In praise of LGBTory

Listen people, everyone knows the Conservative Party of Canada is late to the proverbial Pride party. But that does not mean they should not be invited to it.

This previous summer LGBTory was almost shut out of Capital Pride in Ottawa, but such a prospect never should have been on the table, because this issue of equality should never have been a political one. I think most Conservatives would accept that it was their party that had initially most this issue political. It was the leadership of Stockwell Day and (yes) Stephen Harper that fought against equality for the LGBT community. (Note: To Mr. Harper's credit, he does carry a record of fighting for the international LGBT community with former Member of Parliament John Baird at his side; especially for a party who once boasted a prominent MP who stated, "Why do gays have to be out there in public, always debating that they want to call it marriage? Why are they dressed up as women on floats?")

But those days seem to be in the past. The record of the Harper government is unmatched in fighting for LGBT rights (an argument can be made for Pierre Trudeau's removal of homosexuality from the criminal code). And with a party now in opposition and heading toward a leadership election, Rona Ambrose, the Party's interim leader, and Michelle Rempel, who is rumoured to be considering a bid for the Party's 'permanent' leadership, are proudly marching at the front of the pack with LGBTory to bravely entrench same-sex marriage in the party's official policy.

There will be those who identify with other parties that will be intent on a knee-jerk response to paint the Conservative Party as 'johnny-come-latelies' (perhaps they may be), but that misses the point; that being the necessity to allow opposition to equality in marriage for the LGBT community to be swept into the dust bin of history.

It should also be noted that Patrick Brown, leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, demonstrated his support by being the first sitting PC leader to walk with a Conservative delegation of this size in Toronto Pride. Potential federal leadership candidates Michael Chong and Kellie Leitch have also expressed their support.

I ask people to join me. Commend the Conservative Party of Canada for accepting this movement by LGBTory. They have earned it.

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