Conservatives must abandon opposition to same-sex marriage
Alexei Simakov | May 19, 2016 | Vancouver Sun
There’s a $30-billion budget deficit, we’ve abandoned our military allies, our energy sector is crumbling, and Alberta is literally aflame. Yet, at the Conservative Party of Canada’s annual convention next week, the biggest debate will be over same sex marriage. Yes, Ontario first legally recognized same sex marriage in 2003, and yes, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously agreed, and yes, tens of thousands of same sex couples have been married, but here we are. Fortunately, this might be the last time the party embarrasses itself by debating an issue that the rest of the country has long forgotten. The motion in question proposes to drop the policy supporting a traditional definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The Conservative Party desperately needs to abandon its dated and self-defeating opposition to same-sex marriage. I’m neither going to insult Canada’s LGBT community nor the readers’ intelligence by explaining why “gay is okay.” Someone still opposed to same sex marriage in 2016 isn’t going to be swayed by arguments based on ethics, morality, or socio-economic incentives. But electability might. Polls show that only 22 per cent of Canadians opposed same sex marriage, while 70 per cent approved, reflecting consistently growing support over the past decade. Three consecutive Parliamentary free votes in 2003, 2005, and 2006 have all asserted the legitimacy of same sex marriage. There is simply no imaginable future in which the Canadian public will support a repeal or even infringement of the status quo. So why is the party actively alienating tens if not hundreds of thousands of Canadians that otherwise agree with Conservatives on low taxes, limited government, and individual responsibility but are excluded by this losing battle against the LGBT community?
Every autopsy of the 2015 federal election agreed that the focus on social issues and identity politics was a failure. Half a year later have these lessons already been forgotten?….