OTTAWA, February 14, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The leader of Canada’s Opposition party is digging in despite calls for an apology after he said the Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin goes “completely against” Canadian law and values.
New Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair made the comment Monday after International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino defended a grant to Crossroads Communications Inc., an evangelical organization. The Minister was responding to a media report demanding the group’s defunding because its website included a page calling homosexuality a “sin” and a “perversion.”
Sun News reporter Jessica Hume questioned Mulcair, who self-identifies as Catholic, about the comments on Wednesday.
Noting that the Catholic Church's views on homosexuality are "almost identical" to evangelicals, Hume asked, "Are [Catholics] also against Canadian law and values?"
Mulcair responded, "We feel that a group that equates gays and lesbians with pedophiles should not be receiving government money, and we hold to that view."
The charge that Crossroads "equates" homosexuality with pedophilia has arisen because they included the two in a list of sexual practices that deviate from Christian moral beliefs. It is unclear why listing them both as violations of moral law would mean they are regarded with equal gravity.
The Crossroads grant, awarded by the Canadian International Development Agency, is towards improving water access in Uganda. They are to receive $544,813 from 2011-2014.
After they were contacted by The Canadian Press, Crossroads removed the page from its website. On Monday they issued a statement insisting they are “not anti-gay” and are committed to “lov[ing] people unconditionally,” while also affirming their belief that “God’s blueprint encourages sexuality within a marriage.”
In his comment Monday, Mulcair said in continuing its support for the grant the Harper government is “defending the indefensible.”
Minister Fantino, he said, is “defending a group that on its website is attacking something that's recognized and protected by Canadian law…It goes against Canadian values, it goes against Canadian law and he can't defend that.”
The remark sparked calls for an apology from faith leaders and Conservative MPs, and even Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae, an ardent supporter of legal abortion and the homosexual cause, backed Crossroads’ grant.
According to CBC, Rae told reporters that he accepts Crossroads’ apology and "everybody else should as well."
"But it's important that their work is done without prejudice, without any aspect of hatred that is contrary to Canadian policy," he said.
Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition