The writ has yet to drop in the 2019 Canadian federal election, but the Liberal Party has already come out swinging at Andrew Scheer, surfacing a 14-year-old anti-gay marriage speech by the Conservative leader and posting it on Twitter.
To be a leader for all Canadians, the Conservative Party leader should now end his lifelong boycott of Pride events and explain whether he would still deny same-sex couples the right to marry, as he said in Parliament. pic.twitter.com/5WEyja6Ov5
— Ralph Goodale (@RalphGoodale) August 22, 2019
In the speech, Scheer, then 25, says marriage between members of the same sex lacks the “inherent feature” of the union, which he says is “the natural procreation of children.” The speech took place in April 2005, during a House of Commons debate about the legalization same-sex marriage in Canada. Scheer was then the MP for Regina—Qu’Appelle.
“How many legs would a dog have if you counted the tail as a leg? The answer is just four,” Scheer continued. “Just because a tail is called a leg does not make it a leg. If [the Civil Marriage Act] passes, governments and individual Canadians will be forced to call a tail a leg, nothing more, but that is not inconsequential, for its effect on marriage, such an integral building block of our society, would have far-reaching effects.”
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale tweeted the video on Thursday, just days before Ottawa Pride. “To be a leader for all Canadians, the Conservative Party leader should now end his lifelong boycott of Pride events and explain whether he would still deny same-sex couples the right to marry, as he said in Parliament,” Goodale wrote.
Scheer’s track record with LGBTQ2 communities isn’t great: As Fae Johnstone finds in her round-up of party policies ahead of the election, Scheer has yet to march in a Pride parade and has voted against trans rights in the past. And if Goodale’s tweet is any indication, Scheer’s record may become a recurring issue throughout the campaign.
In response to the tweet, the Conservative Party put together a Twitter thread of Liberal MPs — including Goodale — who also voted against same-sex marriage.
We’re just gonna leave these here … (1/9)
— Conservative Party (@CPC_HQ) August 22, 2019
“Mr. Scheer supports same-sex marriage as defined in law and as prime minister will, of course, uphold it,” Brock Harrison, director of communications for Scheer, also tweeted. “This is yet another desperation tactic from [Justin] Trudeau on the eve of an election to distract from his record of failure and incompetence.”
No word yet on if Scheer will change course and make an impromptu appearance at Ottawa Pride this weekend.