By Terry Vanderheyden

OTTAWA, January 20, 2006 ( – A survey of Ottawa-Centre riding election candidates by a homosexual advocacy group has asked, among other things, if they supported the lowering of the age for consensual sodomy to 14 years; all three candidates agreed.

The homosexual magazine, Capital Xtra, which describes Stephen Harper as a “bigot” and his party as “extremists on a moral crusade,” posed the questions to Ottawa-centre candidates from the three major parties: NDP candidate Paul Dewar; Liberal Party candidate Richard Mahoney; and Conservative Party candidate Keith Fountain, who the magazine explained “is married to a woman.”

“Will you reduce the age of consent for anal sex to 14, as it is for other forms of sex practiced by heterosexuals?” the magazine asked.

“I would make sure that whatever law, in terms of age of consent, is not going to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation,” replied Dewar.

“If the minimum age (of consent) is 14, which it is, that should be applied to everything,” agreed Fountain. “I don’t think we need to make artificial distinctions between what they do.”

Mahoney responded: “On first blush, I can’t understand why there would be any distinction, so I’d have to educate myself, but presumably, assuming when I did educate myself, I could see no reason for distinctions, I would support any attempts to amend it.”

Fountain was the only candidate who said he did not support added amendments to the Human Rights Act that specifically banned discrimination against “transgendered” people.

Dewar meanwhile said that if elected, he would support the erection of a “queer community centre” in Ottawa. “I would be a strong advocate for that money to be invested, as I call it, not spent, in a Pride or queer centre and to help with that as the MP,” he said. Fountain opposed the suggestion while Mahoney said he would support such a venture, although he was “neutral” as far as who would pay for it.

When asked if they would support federal money for “gay pride” festivals, Dewar said he was in favour of federal support for the “arts,” as he called it. “Clearly the Pride festival and film festivals are the way to do that,” he said. “It makes economic sense.” Mahoney said he supported the idea, while Fountain was opposed.

Dewar was the only candidate who promised to resign his seat in parliament if the government revoked same-sex “marriage” legislation. Notably, Conservative candidate Fountain and Mahoney both said that it was unlikely the issue would be revisited in parliament, although Fountain said he would oppose any attempt to revoke the law.