Peter Baklinski

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Wildrose party adds ‘sexual orientation’ plank to policy, yanks ‘conscience rights’

Peter Baklinski
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Updated on November 6 at 3:26 p.m. EST.

RED DEER, Alberta, November 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Alberta’s opposition Wildrose Party added the words “sexual orientation” to its “equality” policy while deleting a proposal to implement legislation that would protect the conscience rights of doctors, at its Annual General Meeting at the end of October.  

The party’s 2010 policy handbook had stated that a Wildrose government “will” protect conscience rights. But by 2011 the policy book stated the government “should” protect them, while the current policy scraps legislating such rights altogether.

On equality, the Wildrose Party added “sexual orientation” to its platform.

Pro-family critics have argued that attempts to protect sexual orientation in law are designed to criminalize moral opposition to homosexual behavior. Some of those concerns were borne out earlier this year when Canada’s highest court ruled that in some cases criticizing homosexual behavior can be construed as violating Canada’s hate-crimes law, which explicitly protects “sexual orientation.” 

Party leader Danielle Smith spoke of bridging the “sharp divide” that exists across the province during her keynote at the Annual General Meeting in Red Deer. 

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Smith said that it is not an “ideological divide” that hinders progress in the province, but a “divide between who we are and the kind of leadership that we get.” 

On top of endorsing “sexual orientation” and removing the conscience rights pledge, the party also pledged to do its part to combat changes in the climate by reducing greenhouse gases after previously being criticized for questioning the science promoting the change. 

The party also scrapped a 2011 plank that called for the disbandment of the province’s human rights commission.

While mainstream critics blame the Wildrose party’s dismal results at the April 2012 election— after having dominated polls weeks beforehand — to the pro-life and pro-traditional marriage views of some Wildrose candidates, life and family leaders have pointed the finger at what they argue was the party's caving into the pro-abortion and pro-homosexual lobby just days before the vote.

Value voters were dismayed when Smith said in the lead-up to the election that she was “pro-choice and pro-gay marriage” and that she would “not be legislating in areas of morality.” The party subsequently began to plunge in the polls, ending up with only 17 seats out of 87 and allowing Alison Redford’s PC Party to hang onto a majority of 61 seats, down from 67. 

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