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Peter MacKay has announced that he intends to march in the Pride parade in Toronto. The Conservative leadership candidate mentioned that he applied to organizers of the parade asking to join.
If MacKay is successful in gaining permission to join the parade and is able to win the conservative leadership, he will become the first and only permanent federal leader of the Conservatives to be a part of the LGBTQ rights parade.
“Pride parades are important,” he said.
“We live in a world where sexual orientation and gender identity are still used by tyrants and bigots to belittle and oppress. In Canada we are lucky to have a society that has grown more tolerant, more accepting and more understanding, but there is still more work to be done,” CBC reported MacKay saying.
MacKay is considered the front runner in the leadership race, according to recent polls.
In the past, MacKay has been more welcoming to same-sex marriage than other Conservatives. He voted against a Conservative resolution to define marriage as it was traditionally defined in a 2006 vote.
MacKay assumed he would be criticized by some conservatives for the decision.
In a statement he said, “The fact that some will condemn this statement speaks louder than any argument I could make about the importance for the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada to follow in the footsteps of Rona Ambrose, and march in support of pride.”
Andrew Scheer did not participate in any of these types of events during the time he spent in the party.
Mackay referred to this saying that Scheer could not “deftly deal” with these types of issues.
He said that issues such as same-sex marriage “hung around Andrew Scheer’s neck like a stinking albatross, quite frankly.”
Among the provincial Conservatives who have participated in such events is Ontario Premier Doug Ford. He marched in the York Region Pride Parade.