Unlike other Canadian political party leaders, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer refused to participate in any Pride parades in Canada this year.
In an October 1 episode of The National’s Face to Face With the Federal Party Leaders series, host Rosemary Barton pressed Scheer for an answer as to what issues he may have with LGBT parades.
He responded to the question by stating that there are different ways to support LGBT people and rights other than Pride parades. But he never specifically stated why—despite repeated questioning from Barton—he won’t participate in those parades.
When Scheer claimed he was a defender of LGBT rights, Barton objected but Scheer interjected and explained how he has supported LGBT rights.
The segment with Barton begins at the 40:40 mark in the video below.
In August, footage began circulating online of Scheer, from his first term an an MP, amid a Parliamentary debate about same-sex marriage in 2005. In the debate, Scheer compared accepting same-sex marriage to counting a dog’s tail as a leg.
In response to the video resurfacing, Scheer stated that the debate about same-sex marriage is closed but he did not apologize for the comments.
Former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper also refrained from marching in Pride parades. In addition, former Toronto mayor Rob Ford often claimed he couldn’t attend Toronto Pride because he was busy cottaging in the summertime.