Liberals revive Scheer's 2005 anti-same sex marriage speech
In a video from 2005 posted to Twitter Thursday by Liberal cabinet minister Ralph Goodale, a young Andrew Scheer – who today heads up the Conservative Party of Canada – details what he viewed as the inherent qualities of marriage.
He also says that same-sex couples don't meet those criteria.
"Homosexual unions are by nature contradictory to this," he said, speaking in a debate in the House of Commons on same-sex marriage on April 5, 2005.
"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."
Andrew Scheer voted against same sex marriage when it became legal in 2005. While many Liberals voted in favour of the move, a few prominent Liberals – including current cabinet minister Lawrence MacAulay and longtime Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia – also voted against it.
In a press release issued Thursday, Goodale also called on Scheer to "end his lifelong boycott on Pride events" and participate in this Sunday's Pride parade in Ottawa. Goodale's statement also called on Scheer "to explain whether he would still deny same-sex couples the equal right to marry."
CTV News reached out to Scheer's office for comment, but they did not directly address the invitation to attend the Ottawa Pride parade. Scheer's press secretary Daniel Schow did address the 2005 video, calling it a "desperation tactic from Justin Trudeau."
"When this vote took place a decade and a half ago, Mr. Scheer voted the way several Liberals did, including some who currently sit in the Liberal caucus and are running for re-election. Mr. Scheer supports same-sex marriage as defined in law and as Prime Minister will of course uphold it," Schow said in an email sent to CTV News.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has also weighed in. He said the video was a "resurfacing of Andrew Scheer's disgusting prejudice against LGBTQI2S+ people."
"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," Singh said in an emailed statement.
The scrutiny on Scheer's track record with respect to LGBTQ rights isn't new. Scheer has said he will not march in any Pride parades this year, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted Scheer's absence from the Vancouver Pride parade on Aug. 4, where NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May joined Trudeau on the route.
"It's just unfortunate that there are still some party leaders who want to be prime minister, who choose to stand with people who are intolerant instead of standing with the LGBT community," Trudeau told reporters at the parade earlier this month.
"I really wish Andrew Scheer were here today to pass that message to kids in rural areas who might be suffering bullying, suffering challenges, that we support them right across the board, but I'm here with politicians who do."
At the time, Schow defended his party's track record on human rights.
"Canada's Conservatives have a proud history of fighting for the rights and protection of all Canadians, including those in the LGBTQ community, at home and abroad," Schow wrote.
"There are many ways to support these communities, and it is vital that the rights all Canadians are protected regardless of race, gender or sexual preference."
With files from CTV's Rachel Aiello