He said he was far more nervous about coming out to his fellow gay men as a conservative than he was in coming out to conservatives as a gay man. What does that mean? There is an expectation in the LGBT community and many other so-called minority communities that if you are a member of a minority you must identify with the so-called progressive parties. I found the conversation with Eric Lorenzen of LGBTory Canada fascinating on many levels. But most important to me as a person who leans conservative, is hearing a fellow conservative discuss how and why it’s so important for the Conservative Party of Canada to align itself with modern times and dump a part of its policy which opposes same-sex marriage.
Lorenzen told me the CPC policy position against equal marriage just doesn’t fit a conservative party that espouses the principles of personal responsibility and personal liberty. The argument isn’t difficult, which is why it’s frustrating for many conservatives to understand what has taken so long for the party to come around. The argument is that liberty ought to mean the liberty to be yourself, and personal responsibility ought to mean living your life openly. No masks. No closets. No faking a heterosexual relationship so as to conform with what used to be social conservative values.
I'll never forget that long before same-sex marriage became the law of the land, a conservative party member told me that gay marriage was already legal in Canada. There was no law, he said, to prevent a gay man from marrying a woman. I became somewhat confrontational at the suggestion that it was in the interest of traditional family values for a gay man to pretend to be otherwise with his wife and other members of his family. Lying to your family is not what personal responsibility is about whether you are gay or straight. His position was absurd. Fast forward to 2016, ten years after same-sex marriage was made legal in Canada, it seems equally absurd that the Conservative Party of Canada has written in its official policy the statement "we support legislation defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman".
I hope you give yourself a few minutes to listen to our SiriusXM conversation with Eric Lorenzen of LGBTory Canada, and I hope in the coming days Conservatives meeting in Vancouver will decide to shift their party to the right side of history and make it conform to the principles of equality, liberty, personal responsibility, and human dignity. And by the way, a party that likes to talk a good game about law and order ought to be able to remove a plank from their official policy which is in conflict with Canadian law.
I’m Charles Adler.
To read the response from Rona Ambrose, the Interim Leader of the Conservative Party, to this issue, click this link.
To learn more about the issue and proposed policy changes, please click here.