Alberta UCP candidate compares ‘homosexual love’ to paedophilia

Alberta UCP candidate Mark Smith

Mark Smith, a United Conservative Party candidate in Alberta, Canada, has caused outrage by comparing homosexuality to paedophilia.

Smith made the claims in a 2013 sermon, a recording of which resurfaced on Twitter on Tuesday (April 2). In the sermon, Smith said that television programmes are “trying to tell you that homosexuality and homosexual love is good love.”

“Heck, there are people out there, I could take you to places on the website, I’m sure, where you could find out that there’s… where paedophilia is love,” he added.

Mark Smith apologises for paedophilia comments

In a statement, Smith said that he doesn’t “specifically recall the comments in question,” but claimed his speech was a remark “on media commentary.”

“Of course I do not believe that homosexuality is akin to paedophilia,” he continued.

“I unequivocally apologise if anyone was offended or hurt. Obviously that would never be my intention.”

“I unequivocally apologise.”

—Mark Smith, United Conservative Party candidate

Smith was first called to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in May 2015 and is running for re-election next month.

His is the latest in a string of controversies for the UCP, which forms the main opposition in Alberta.

United Conservative Party beleaguered by LGBT+ controversy

On March 27, party leader Jason Kenney was forced to defend plans which would allow teachers to “out” members of gay-straight alliance (GSA) groups to their parents.

Kenney, who is tipped to become Alberta’s premier after the April 16 elections, has pledged to repeal existing GSA protections, replacing them with “the strongest legal protection for GSAs of any province in Canada.” Critics say that this would not be the case.

Jason Kenney, the leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party

Jason Kenney, the leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party

On March 25 Eva Kiryakos, another Alberta candidate, pulled out of the election after a series of derogatory tweets were brought to light.

In the posts, she accused Muslims of using “murder, rape, kidnapping, terror and forced breeding in pursuit of Christian genocide”, and also took offence to a directive allowing schoolchildren to use their chosen bathroom.

“I should have the right to choose for my children not to be brainwashed into accepting perversions as ‘alternative lifestyles’,” she wrote.