Canada’s Conservatives End Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

May 28th, 2016

Canada has enjoyed marriage equality for nearly eleven years. Canada’s Conservative Party is only thirteen years old. And with its founder, former Stephen Harper out of politics after losing last year’s general election to the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, the party has some catching up to do. It took one step in that direction during a part convention in Vancouver this weekend:

But a majority of delegates at a Vancouver convention agreed on what they don’t want: to be considered obsolete in a country that officially legalized gay marriage more than 11 years ago. The measure to effectively recognize gay marriage passed 1,036 to 462.

‘Obsolete’ was the same word former Harper lieutenant Jason Kenney used Saturday to describe long-standing Conservative Party policy which declared marriage was a “union of one man and one woman.”

The Calgary MP, long considered a standard bearer for the party’s conservative wing, was unequivocal about the need to jettison the traditional definition of marriage from Conservative doctrine. “I think it’s a no-brainer. This issue was resolved 10 years ago. There is no point in having … obsolete language about something that was changed in law and society a decade ago,” the Calgary MP said.

The Globe and Mail reports that the party’s social conservative contingent “appeared reduced in strength and voice” during the convention. The Tories are expected to chose a new leader a year from now.


May 28th, 2016

It’s worth noting that a few social conservative policies were also added to the platform, including a “respect all life” (stealthy “personhood”) and “conscience” rights for doctors policy. Re: the change in marriage, it was a high publicity item, Canadians all thought it long past due, and the argument was made that they can still oppose LGBT advances, just not make it obvious in the platform. The one difference is that there is a growing “GOProud” type of contingent called “LGBTory” that is no longer being shut out of the party, and is supportive of LGB (T remains to be seen) rights.

Priya Lynn

May 28th, 2016

Justin Trudeau is not the leader of the “Labour” party, he’s the leader of the Liberal party. There is no “Labour” party in Canada.

Jim Burroway

May 28th, 2016

Thanks for the correction.

Priya Lynn

May 28th, 2016

Its nice to see the Conservatives put this behind them. With the exit of social conservatives like Harper hopefully this means the Conservatives are turning over a new leaf.

Ben in oakland

May 29th, 2016

Was this a “nobody agrees with us and we don’t want to lose elections over it” moment…


Was it a “we realize that we were dead wrong” moment.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Priya Lynn

May 29th, 2016

Ben, from the little bit I heard of people at the Conservative convention it was a “nobody agrees with us and we don’t want to lose elections over it” moment. The impression was that the Conservative party is moving away from its social conservative stance, putting a bit of the old “Progressive” back in front of the “Conservative”.

The forerunner of the Conservative party, the Progressive Conservatives, weren’t at all a socially conservative party. I even voted for them twice back in the day. The Conservative party under Harper did its best to emulate the American Republican party, pushing social conservative religious agenda, anti-science, and lying left and right to try to con the Canadian public into buying into their destructive agenda. I’m sooooo relieved those days are over.

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