The openly gay Conservative candidate in the riding of Toronto-Centre has resigned after the controversial contents of his blog became public.
Chris Reid, an environmental engineer, resigned from the race on Sep 20 after excerpts from his blog “Political Thoughts from a Gay Conservative” were posted online. The site at Conservativeandgay.blogspot.com has been closed, but parts can still be accessed through Google searches.
Writing about queer Canadians, Reid said, “What I found them to tolerate is promoting promiscuity, drug usage and prostitution.”
Reid also proposed that Canadian citizens be allowed to carry concealed handguns. This would be especially beneficial for gays, he wrote.
“Allow law-abiding citizens who are qualified and trained to carry concealed handguns for personal protection,” he stated. “It’s the only proven way to reduce violent crime and murder. If women and gays really wanted to stop being victims of hate crimes, they’d be in support of this, but judging from discussions, they’d rather be helpless and rely on government.”
Reid posted similar thoughts on the stabbing and beheading of a man on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba, decrying passengers’ inability to help.
“This is where socialism as gotten us folks, a castrated effeminate population,” he stated.
“This is a perfect example of why we need concealed-carry handgun legislation in this country, so we can defend one another and deter horrible events such as this.”
Reid could not be reached by Xtra and appeared to have taken his phone off the hook. But he told the Toronto Star he resigned “to pursue different interests.”
A spokesperson for the federal Conservative party, who would not give her name, says the same thing.
“He’s decided to pursue another career and he realized that he could not commit to four years as an MP.”
She would not comment on the contents of Reid’s blog.
Reid has been replaced in the Toronto-Centre race by David Gentili, who formerly worked in Stephen Harper’s office and has a masters degree in public administration.
The Conservatives have a recent history of problems in the riding. In a March byelection which saw Liberal Bob Rae elected, the original Conservative candidate, Mark Warner, was dumped.
Warner told Xtra at the time that the party was worried his queer-friendly campaign would anger Conservative voters in other ridings.
“They were concerned that my attempts to signal openness to the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans] community could hurt them elsewhere, that there would be a fall-out effect in another riding,” he said.
His replacement in that race, Rev Don Meredith, told Xtra of his view of gays.
“It’s the right of individuals to choose their orientation. I’m about representing people. I’ve worked with gays and lesbians before in my careers and I find them to be human beings.”
Meredith told Xtra he supported including trans people in Canada’s hate crimes legislation, then changed his position at an all-candidates forum.
“This is a human rights issue and we will be looking to gain consensus from other parties,” he said. “This is something we would have to deliberate on. I can’t make that commitment.”