Making a decision to walk in a Pride parade can make all the difference between winning crucial ridings in an election. Conservative leadership contender Peter MacKay said today he wants to march in Toronto’s Pride parade.
MacKay said he’s applied to the parade organizers for permission to participate. If he gets it, and if he wins the leadership contest to be held the day before the parade, on June 27 he’ll be the first permanent federal Conservative leader to participate in this sort of LGBTQ rights celebration.
“Pride parades are important,” MacKay said in a statement. Important when it comes to winning elections and making a bold statement unlike his predecessor who boldly stated the opposite and got mauled by the media.
“We live in a world where sexual orientation and gender identity are still used by tyrants and bigots to belittle and oppress. In Canada we are lucky to have a society that has grown more tolerant, more accepting and more understanding, but there is still more work to be done.”
In 2006, for example, he was one of only a handful of cabinet ministers to vote against his own government’s resolution to restore the traditional definition of marriage.
MacKay anticipated criticism of his decision to march in Pride from some social conservatives in the party’s ranks.
Scheer backed a history-making government apology to LGBTQ public servants who were purged by the federal government because of their sexuality, and he embraced LGBTQ refugees fleeing countries like Iran, among other initiatives.
Despite that show of support, Scheer was followed throughout the campaign by remarks he made in 2004 comparing same-sex marriage to a dog’s tail. He also voted against protections for trans Canadians as recently as 2016.
MacKay himself said Scheer wasn’t able to “deftly deal” with social issues like same-sex marriage and abortion when asked about them during the last election. -CINEWS