TORONTO, August 15, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The pro-family, pro-life conservative organization REAL Women of Canada is calling a CBC report “absolutely not” accurate that quoted president Gwen Landolt as if she tacitly approved Uganda’s contemplation of the death penalty for practicing homosexuals.
“I don’t know if the CBC did this deliberately or whether it was accidental and they misunderstood [my position],” said Landolt to LifeSiteNews.com. “My whole life I have been utterly opposed to capital punishment and I would never make homosexual execution the exception.”
Landolt stated that REAL Women would “never support the death penalty in any circumstance.”
“I would never ever in a hundred years say the execution of people is suitable and appropriate. Never,” she said.
LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) contacted the CBC journalist who wrote the story, but never received a response.
Last week REAL Women criticized Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, a practicing homosexual, for imposing what it called “his own perspective on homosexuality” in foreign countries such as Uganda, Kenya, and Russia that have passed laws aimed at preserving the traditional family structure.
In his effort to promote tolerance in these countries, Baird has blasted such laws as “mean-spirited”, “hateful”, and “intolerant”.
CBC interviewed Landolt at the time, reporting: “When asked about reports that Uganda has considered the death penalty as punishment for having homosexual relations, Landolt said, ‘It may be unwise by Western standards, but who are we to interfere in a sovereign country?’”
Landolt told LSN that her original comment to CBC was about the newly enacted Russian law to eliminate homosexual indoctrination of minors, which allows for jail terms for offenders of up to three years.
Landolt said that she told CBC that while she didn’t think Russia’s move was “necessarily a human rights violation” she did think however that it was “unwise by Western standards” adding as an aside, “but who are we to interfere in a sovereign country?”
CBC’s report ignited a media firestorm against the conservative group. Former allies and supporters of REAL Women publicly distanced themselves from the organization.
National Post columnist Barbara Kay said that while REAL Women had “commanded my intellectual respect and not infrequently my approval” she “deplore[d] [Landolt’s] stand on gay rights.”
Calling Landolt’s reported comment to the CBC on Uganda’s proposed death penalty a “stunning moral gaffe,” Kay said that “Landolt has compromised years of dignified advocacy work, and worse, set at an unbridgeable distance well-wishers and occasional collaborators such as myself.”
In a press release on Tuesday however, REAL Women made it clear that it does not now — nor has it ever — supported the death penalty for anyone, or the persecution of anyone including homosexuals.
“REAL Women deplores the persecution of homosexuals and the jailing of individuals because of their orientation,” the organization stated.
Landold told LSN that this is not a newly minted policy. The organization stated in a November/December 2012 issue of its newsletter REALity: “Reasonable people would agree that homosexuals should not be tortured, jailed or killed because of their sexual orientation.”
In the article, titled Foreign Affairs, Religion and Homosexuality, REAL Women accused Baird at that time of going beyond advocating for the basic human rights for homosexuals to promoting “a broad spectrum of homosexual rights, including same-sex marriage.”
REAL Women said in its Wednesday press release that it “agree[s] with Mr. Baird who states that ‘someone being put to death because they are a sexual minority is abhorrent to Canadian values’.” The organization made it clear that it “does not support” the jailing of practicing homosexuals.
But the organization stands behind its recent criticism of Baird awarding $200,000 of Canadian taxpayers’ money by way of the Department of Foreign Affairs to special interest groups in foreign countries that promote the gay lifestyle.
Landolt said that human rights violations in sovereign nations should be tackled, but not by means of the Canadian government funding a “dissident group.”
“REAL Women has no objection to Canada speaking out against violations of human rights if it is carried out appropriately, in dealing with sovereign nations such as through diplomatic channels, the media, Parliament and the imposition of economic sanctions which has proved to be effective in ending apartheid in South Africa, and is working today in Iran,” the organization stated.
She called funding special interest groups in sovereign countries a “dangerous precedent.”
“We [should not] stride in there with funding to deliberately change the law,” she said, adding that the democratic process of sovereign countries who are acting “for the betterment of their countries” merits respect.
Landolt said that REAL Women’s opposition to Baird’s international gay-rights crusade arises from witnessing the erosion of Canadian rights and freedoms in the wake of a push for the gay agenda.
“Our concern basically was we don’t want to happen in other countries what has happened here, where people of faith and people of traditional values have been pushed to the side and unable to speak out, whether you’re in the wedding industry or a marriage commissioner or if you have a bed and breakfast,” she said.
Landolt wondered if CBC’s report was an attempt to “shut down” her organization. “It was either accidental or deliberate, you can take your pick,” she said. “The left wing sees this as an opportunity to shut down resistance.”
REAL Women said in its press release that as a result of the media coverage, it has “experienced an orchestrated campaign of hate and intimidation.”
Landolt told the Catholic Register that REAL Women will not let hate and intimidation silence its message. “If they think that, they don’t know us,” she said. “We intend to continue to speak out for religious freedom, traditional values, for the family and for life.”