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Canada rows over gay issues

Global News Briefs 04 Sep, 2019 Follow News

Canada rows over gay issues

Canada’s social issues like gay marriage and abortion have become huge issues in the lead up to the country’s autumn election, as the Liberal Party tries to convince voters that the Conservatives want to backtrack on LGBTQ and abortion rights.


Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party has fired an early salvo against Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer, and his past record on gay marriage and abortion. But whether it will wound his primary opponent remains to be seen.


A Liberal minister released footage last week of Mr Scheer in 2005 opposing same-sex marriage during a debate in parliament. Although his remarks have been a matter of public record for some time, the footage renewed concerns that he would let his personal beliefs influence policy decisions.


For days Mr Scheer avoided commenting on his past statements, but on Thursday he gave a press conference where he tried to assuage concerns.


Just before, the Liberals launched another attack, this time with footage taken during the 2017 Conservative leadership contest.


In it, an anti-abortion activist says Mr Scheer has promised him that Conservative MPs who oppose abortion would be allowed to vote with their conscience if the matter were to come up in parliament.


Mr Scheer accused the Liberals of "dredging up divisive issues" to distract people from Liberal scandals and poor economic policy. He reiterated that his Conservative Party considered both same-sex marriage and abortion to be "settled law", meaning the party would not seek to make either illegal again.


However, he was a bit hazy on how he would deal with members of his own party who wished to pass socially conservative legislation.

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