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No anti-gay bill, says Stock Day

New Alliance leader chooses safe riding

STOCKWELL DAY. Goes to where the believers are. Credit: Shawn Scallen

Stockwell Day will run for the House Of Commons in Canada’s anti-gay Bible-belt – the British Columbia Okanagan valley.

It’s a place where homosexuals are not welcome – but Day, the newly elected leader of the Canadian Alliance Party, says he’s not targeting gay men and lesbians.

The former Pentecostal minister maintains his is an “agenda of respect” and that his government would introduce referenda on issues demanded by voters, but he doesn’t have an anti-gay bill in the works.

“In terms of referendum itself, I have no item planned whatsoever, myself,” Day said earlier this month.

When asked if conservative homosexuals are welcome in his party, Day sighed deeply and brushed the question aside, saying, “everybody is welcome in the Canadian Alliance and I think that’s why you see it growing in significant ways.

“Any person who is endorsing our principles of reducing taxes clearly is more than welcome in the Canadian Alliance. And I’m excited about the diversity of groups, all groups that have joined our party.”

The 49-year-old Day went to Ottawa’s private boys school Ashbury College and has also lived in Vancouver’s gay ghetto, the West End.

He opposed Canada’s decision to allow gay men and lesbians to serve in the military. He opposed installing condom machines in schools. He urged Alberta to use the constitution’s notwithstanding clause to opt out of adding sexual orientation into the province’s human rights act.

As Alberta’s social services minister, he stopped a foster mother from caring for children after she began a relationship with a woman. Day said that only “natural” and “traditional” families possess the stability needed to adopt children.

As treasurer, he called for the revocation of a $10,000 lottery

grant to the Red Deer Museum for a historical study on the lives of homos in the area. “They made a mistake in pursuing a project which purports to reflect the sexual choices of maybe one per cent of the population,” he said at the time.

Day’s policy manual states that as prime minister he’d use the notwithstanding override when courts make rights decisions that conflict with what he perceives as the will of the majority. He has stated he wouldn’t hesitate to use the clause if the courts legalize same-sex marriage.

“I’m totally convinced that He’s [God] with me all the time,” Day has said. “And I want to do what’s pleasing to Him, because I know what’s best for me in the long run.”

Riding what appears to be a tide of popular support into the Okanagan Bible belt, there is virtually nothing that could prevent Day from winning a by-election (though it has yet to be called).

Christian politicians in the area say they can’t condone the homosexual lifestyle, and a concerted attempt by activists to push gay Pride proclamations is creating an atmosphere of great tension.

Kelowna’s Quentin Hughson is leading a fight to have area councils proclaim gay Pride. “I think it will get worse before it gets better,” says Hughson. “The rhetoric will get out there… he’ll feed off that.”