Canada: Wildrose Party candidate under fire for homophobic comments

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The leader of Alberta’s Wildrose Party, Danielle Smith, is under pressure to sack one of her candidates, after one of his blogs from last year was discovered, where he said homosexuals are deemed to spend an eternity in hell.

The controversy comes days after Ms Smith, to the surprise of most of her rivals and opponents, said she was “pro-gay marriage” and “pro-choice.”

The comments come from Allan Hunsperger, a candidate for Edmonton, who had said that public schools in the province were godless and that “gays will burn in hell.”

Ms Smith said that she was bewildered by the controversy, but says while all are expected to follow party policy, she wouldn’t interfere with members from having their own views.

Opponents however have been quick to condemn the remarks, which have since been removed from the web. Premier Alison Redford, for example, has suggested that these comments may represent beliefs within the party itself.

The LGBT community in Alberta however want Mr Hunsperger, a local pastor, to be stripped of his nomination. “We are waiting for Danielle Smith, as leader, to accept and account for the actions of her candidate, and immediately apologize,” said Kristopher Wells, of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta.

“Anything less than a full apology is unconscionable and a sign of a two-tiered approach to equality in this province,” Mr Wells added.

The elections in Alberta are set for 23 April.


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