Canadian Conservative leader goes on anti-gay tirade in resurfaced footage

Andrew Scheer, newly elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, speaks at the party's convention in Toronto, Ontario, May 27, 2017

The head of Canada’s Conservative Party is facing attacks after a video surfaced of him deriding same-sex marriage by making a bizarre comparison to a dog.

The 2005 clip, shared by ministers from Justin Trudeau‘s Liberal Party ahead of the country’s October 21 elections, shows opposition leader  Andrew Scheer railing against same-sex marriage.

In the 2005 speech to Parliament about gay unions, Scheer said: “How many legs would a dog have if you counted the tail as a leg? The answer is just four.

“Just because you call a tail a leg, doesn’t make it a leg. If this bill passes, governments and individual Canadians will be forced to call a tail a leg. Nothing more.”

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer:  Gay people ‘cannot be married’

He added: “There’s nothing important to society than the raising of children, for its very survival requires it. Homosexual unions are by nature contradictory to this. There is no complementarity of the sexes.

“Two members of the same sex may use their God-given free will to engage in acts, cohabit, own property together, and commit themselves to monogamy.

“They may pledge themselves to remain in a loving relationship for life. In that sense, they have many of the collateral features of marriage, but they do not have its inherent feature, as they cannot commit to the natural procreation of children. They cannot therefore be married.”

MPs lay into Conservatives over marriage comments

Furthering the attacks, Trudeau’s public safety minister Ralph Goodale questioned why the Conservative leader has never attended a Pride event.

He said: “To be a leader for all Canadians, the Conservative Party leader should now end his lifelong boycott of Pride events and explain whether he would still deny same-sex couples the right to marry, as he said in Parliament.

“Mr Scheer has been an MP for 5,533 days, but hasn’t found a single day to celebrate Pride, and thus defend EVERY Canadian’s human rights. Where better to begin than this weekend at his very own hometown Pride in Ottawa?”

Canadian Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer

Canadian Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The criticism was joined by New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, who made clear that his party would not prop up a government led by Scheer.

He said: “The resurfacing of Andrew Scheer’s disgusting prejudice against LGBTQI2S+ people and families is very painful for many Canadians.

“This is exactly why, if Canadians deliver a minority government in October, I will not prop up Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.

“We can’t trust Mr Scheer or his caucus to champion the fundamental rights of Canadians.”

However, the Conservatives accused other parties of hypocrisy, because they also have MPs who once opposed equal marriage.

Scheer’s director of communications Brock W. Harrison tweeted: “When the same-sex marriage vote took place a decade and a half ago, @AndrewScheer voted the way several Liberals did, including some who currently sit in the Liberal caucus and are running for re-election as Liberal candidates under Justin Trudeau.

“Mr Scheer supports same-sex marriage as defined in law and as Prime Minister will, of course, uphold it.

“This is yet another desperation tactic from Trudeau on the eve of an election to distract from his record of failure and incompetence.

“Several high-profile Liberals – including Stephane Dion, Dalton McGuinty, Paul Martin, and Jean Chretien – opposed same-sex marriage more than a decade ago, as did Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.”

The Conservative Party have a narrow polling lead ahead of the October 21 election, as they seek to oust Trudeau.