EDMONTON, Alberta, June 14, 2012 ( – Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith joined the gay pride festival in Edmonton at a reception Tuesday with the Edmonton police.

Chief Rod Knecht and the Edmonton Police Service hosted the event, held at the police’s operations warehouse, as part of the gay pride festival events happening throughout the city from June 7-17.


Danielle Smith, Wildrose opposition leader, attended the event to try to repair relations with homosexual activists after a member of her party upset them during the election in April. She met with Kristopher Wells, spokesman for the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies at the University of Alberta.

During the April campaign, the media revealed that Edmonton Wildrose candidate Allan Hunsperger, a Christian pastor, had posted a strong critique of homosexuality and its promotion in the schools on his church’s blog.

The pastor wrote that if one inclined towards homosexuality embraces his attractions, he will “suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell, a place of eternal suffering.”

The Wildrose Party was attacked for Hunsperger’s comments and Smith was criticized for her response, even after insisting that she is “pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.”

“Myself, like many in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, are still waiting for Danielle Smith to apologize for those comments,” said Kris Wells.

But, said Smith, “Mr. Hunsperger’s views are not my views. They’re not the views of my party and they’re not the views of my caucus.”

“If he wants to seek an apology, he should seek it from Mr. Hunsperger,” she added.

“I said we need to meet and have a conversation about where the right to free speech and freedom of religion begins and where it bumps up against equality rights,” Smith told reporters at the event on Tuesday.


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