News / Ottawa

LGBT Conservatives not worried about Scheer's non-participation in Pride

Group says they're watching steps by new leader, but Pride parade not a deal breaker.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer received a standing ovation from his party when he rose in the House of Commons Monday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer received a standing ovation from his party when he rose in the House of Commons Monday.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s lack of commitment to attending Pride parades across the country worries, but doesn’t outrage members of the LGBT community in his own party.

Scheer has identified as a social conservative but has also said he does not intend to legislate accordingly. He said in media interviews this weekend he wouldn’t attend Pride parades, citing recent controversies over whether police would be able to attend the events in uniform.

Eric Lorenzen is vice-president of communications of the group LGBTory, which helped to push the party to drop the traditional definition of marriage from its platform.

He said a leader not marching in Pride would not be a major issue.

“I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker for us,” he said. “We don’t see participation in Pride as an ideological test.”

Lorenzen said some of Scheer’s past views are of concern, but the group is prepared to believe him when he says he won’t reopen old debates.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it: We are concerned about some of the statements he made in the past and some of the votes he has made in the House of Commons.”

Lorenzen said he also doesn’t believe any anti-LGBT measure that could arise would have support inside the Conservative caucus.  

Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault said having political leaders march at Pride is a clear signal to those that might feel discriminated against.

“It matters to kids who are thinking about committing suicide. It matters to kids who have been kicked out of their homes by their parents because they’re intolerant of LGBTQ2 kids.”

Boissonnault said any political leader should be willing to march at Pride.   

“I expect all leaders of parties in this country not just to be prepared to march in a parade, but to actually march in a parade and be fully inclusive of all Canadians.”

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