OTTAWA, November 28, 2003 ( – Homosexual activist groups and politicians are having a field day denouncing Alliance MP Larry Spencer for his comments on homosexuality in an interview with the Vancouver Sun.  Spencer later unreservedly apologized for the remarks, specifically retracting a statement that he would support an action recriminalizating homosexual acts.  While Harper “fired” Spencer from his shadow cabinet post, and Spencer resigned temporarily from the Alliance caucus, Harper said that Spencer would be welcome in the new merged Conservative Party.  “These comments (by Spencer) are neither responsible nor acceptable and do not represent the policy of this party,” Mr. Harper said after a party meeting.  Speaking the same day at a dinner Harper said, “You will not see me and I will not play the Liberal game of saying that certain kinds of conservatives and their issues – like, for instance, the definition of marriage – are somehow automatically unacceptable or un-Canadian. But as today’s events have surely made clear, I will insist just as strongly that we advance conservative policies in a way that is respectful, that is responsible, that is disciplined and that is professional. I will give no quarter on that and we will not compromise on that insistence.”  New Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, who officially takes office December 12, commented on the controversy saying “I congratulate Mr. Harper for defending the rights of gay Canadians and doing so as quick as he did.”  He also noted he would continue with the Liberal plan on homosexual ‘marriage’.  “I’m going to proceed exactly as I said before . . . I believe that there has to be an extensive discussion in Parliament, and I think members of Parliament are entitled to bring up all of the options. But one thing is very clear: the Charter of Rights is an essential support of the Canadian democratic system. The Charter of Rights, in the end, must dictate the course of action that would be taken by the government.”  See related coverage from the National Post and Toronto Star:


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