Harper pleases opponent of gay marriage

One of Canada's most politically active social conservatives has urged other social conservatives to rally behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Rev. Tristan Emmanuel is founder and president of a group called Equipping Christians for the Public-square Centre. In a message called “It's Time Socons Rallied Behind Harper” on the group's Web site www.ecpcentre.org, Emmanuel praised Harper for doing more “than throw us a few symbolic bones”.

Emmanuel, a vociferous opponent of same-sex marriage, praised Harper's government for eliminating federal funding for the Court Challenges Program of Canada. It funded legal arguments advancing equal rights for women, gays and lesbians, and disadvantaged groups.

“Court Challenges Program funding has financed our opposition for years,” Emmanuel wrote. “Without this taxpayer money, these enemies of equality can't advance their radical agenda. Harper also cut the funding for the radical anti-family Law Commission of Canada. With these moves, Harper and his Conservative Cabinet have also shown that they understand that important social conservative policy initiatives are consistent with the demands of responsible economic conservatism.”

The Harper government cut $5.6 million from the Court Challenges Program of Canada and $4.2 million from the Law Commission of Canada.

The Women's Legal Education and Action Fund described the Harper government's cut to the Court Challenges Program as “appalling” and a “devastating loss to Canada's most vulnerable groups”.