TORONTO, March 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown has renounced his vote against same-sex “marriage” as a federal MP under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and claimed that “all political parties are supporting equal marriage.”
Brown voted in 2006 as MP for Barrie to revisit the debate on same-sex “marriage,” which had been legalized under Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin a year earlier.
Elected PC leader last May, Brown told delegates at his party’s convention earlier this month that he voted ten years ago as he did because under “our previous prime minister at the time” it was the “federal platform of the day.”
“Today I’m very proud to support equality in marriage,” the 37-year-old leader said, adding, to sustained applause: “I was proud to participate in leading the first official delegation in the Toronto Pride Parade and I’m going to do so again.”
In Ontario, “equal marriage” is no longer a “partisan issue,” Brown said, adding, “I’m glad we’ve evolved now to be at a point where all the political parties are supporting equal marriage.”
And he’s “very pleased” that the interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada Rona Ambrose “also took the same position.”
Brown’s remarks are significant because his party’s federal Conservative counterpart does not, in fact, officially support “equal marriage,” but there is a campaign afoot by LGBTory to change that at the CPC convention in May 2016.
Ontario’s Brown, it would seem, is clearly anticipating that change.
The CPC’s 2013 Policy Declaration states that “we support legislation defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” It also states that the definition of marriage should be up to a free vote.
It’s too early to know if the LGBTory motion to strike these two clauses from the party’s policy declaration will make it to the convention floor in Vancouver this May.
But as Brown stated, Ambrose signalled support for the motion in a February 2016 letter to LGBTory. “I’ve been clear for a long time that the Conservative Party welcomes all conservatives, regardless of sexual orientation,” she wrote.
LGBTory executive member Eric Lorenzen told Xtra that the motion is gaining traction with Conservative MPs, and 20 have promised to support the motion, including leadership hopeful and Quebec MP Maxime Bernier.
“What Patrick and whoever is advising him on these issues should know is that support for gay rights does not bring more votes,” points out Jeff Gunnarson, vice president of Campaign Life Coalition. “It gives you kudos with the media, and it angers social conservatives who feel left out of the equation.”
Social conservatives account for up to 40 percent of the Ontario PC Party’s member base, he told LifeSiteNews, whereas “Canadian data suggest the identifiable same-sex attracted population is around 1.4 per cent.”
Indeed, that figure represents Canadian men identifying as homosexual, according to 2003 and 2004 Canadian Community Health Surveys, which reported women identifying as lesbians account for only 0.8 of Canada’s population. These figures were reported in an Xtra article debunking the generally accepted but false statistic: “One in 10 people are gay? Not even close.”
“It brings only frustration and feelings of betrayal when Brown kowtows to such a small group,” Gunnarson said. “Human rights should be the order of the day and that includes all people.”
Transcript of Patrick Brown’s remarks on same-sex “marriage” from the Ontario PC Party’s convention:
Question: In 2006 when you were a federal MP you voted to reopen the debate on same-sex marriage. I wonder if you could clarify your position today on same-sex marriage.
Brown: In 2006, our previous prime minister ran as, that was part of the federal platform of the day. Today I’m very proud to support equality in marriage [applause] I was proud to participate in leading the first official delegation in the Toronto Pride Parade and I’m going to do so again.
I believe we’re at a point now in Ontario where equal marriage is not a partisan issue, and, you know, for years, for years there was a point in the House of Commons when all political parties were against equal marriage, I’m glad that we’ve evolved now to be at a point where all the political parties are supporting equal marriage and.. I was very pleased to see that Rona Ambrose our interim leader also took the same position.