2 February 2016

On a recent official tour of India, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was the subject of homophobic comments in the Hindustan Times, a major Indian newspaper. LGBTory Canada condemns these comments and believes they have no place in political discourse.

In a story on January 30, headlined Pro-gay Ontario premier runs into an ethical wall in Punjab, the Hindustan Times commented on a planned visit by Premier Wynne and her spouse to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the most sacred site in the Sikh faith. The paper reported that the Temple's Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee “has decided not to honour the Canadian leader with a siropa (robe of honour) during her visit to the Golden Temple on Sunday. Reason: Wynne, a lesbian, is a supporter of same-sex marriages, a practice opposed by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs.” The visit took place as planned despite the erroneous report that Premier Wynne had not been invited.

While we appreciate that differences of opinion exist on the subject of same-sex marriage, there is no justification for a call to snub a visiting foreign dignitary on an official visit because of her sexual orientation or her support for legal civil same-sex marriage in her own jurisdiction. We support Premier Wynne on this issue and expect that she be accorded all the respect due her as the Premier of Ontario. We thank the Indian authorities for welcoming Premier Wynne to the Golden Temple despite the remarks made about her in the press.

We also stand behind Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown who commented on this issue, 

One’s sexual orientation should have no bearing on politics, foreign affairs or public service. I know the vast majority in Canada and India share my condemnation of homophobia. I would certainly be disappointed if the sequence of events happened as reported. There is no place for homophobia anywhere, regardless if it is in Amritsar or Toronto.

We know that Canadians of all political persuasions and sexual orientations will join us in rejecting the homophobic comments directed at Premier Wynne.