OTTAWA, November 27, 2003 ( – The news day began with a bang Thursday as Canadian media were filled with stories about Canadian Alliance Family Critic Larry Spencer’s fall into a political minefield on the homosexuality issue. Spencer was removed from his post today after a media storm following publication of an unfortunate interview he gave to Vancouver Sun reporter Peter O’Neil.  Although the text of the conversation with O’Neil cannot be confirmed, Spencer was quoted by O’Neil as responding that if someone brought forward a bill in the House to criminalize homosexuality “I’d certainly vote for it.”  Very few, if any, pro-family supporters in Canada are known to advocate or even agree with re-criminalization of homosexuality. There has also not been any evidence that it is even remotely an agenda item for any Alliance MPs or their party. There are therefore questions as to how the issue of criminalization came up in the conversation and whether Spencer actually has any political commitment to it. Moreover, the MP’s executive assistant in Regina told today that the statement was not “characteristic of Larry Spencer at all.”

O’Neil’s article quoted Spencer as saying, “I wouldn’t even suggest that there be a penalty. I just think that it’s so sad that we have to take an issue like this and be asked to put the Good Housekeeping seal of approval on it without being allowed to tell the truth and talk about the facts.” The Alliance MP followed with concerns about the often deadly health affects of the lifestyle and the significantly lower lifespan of many active homosexual persons.  However, in a press release issued later in the day, likely at the intense urging of Alliance Party executives, Spencer apologized unreservedly for the personal comments he made in the interview.  He said, “I retract the statement I made indicating that I would support a bill to criminalize homosexuality.”  It appears that media attention on Spencer’s supposed desire to criminalize the behavior is being held up as a straw man to further bash social conservatives and strengthen arguments for purging their influence from the proposed merger of the two conservative federal Parties.  Pro-family Canadians, many of whom support the Canadian Alliance, have been swamping Members of Parliament with an unprecedented volume of letters, emails and calls opposing legal recognition and granting of marriage privileges to same-sex unions. There is growing public fear that such institutional support for homosexuality will seriously undermine family life.

More bludgeoning of free speech on the homosexual issue may result from this latest furor, depending, however, on pro-family Canadians’ resolve to not be intimidated by the media and political exploitation of the O’Neil interview.  See the Vancouver Sun article by Peter O’Neil (Also printed in the National Post and other CanWest publications)


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