“Stockwell Day’s so-called ‘agenda of respect’ is a sham”, said John Fisher, Executive Director of EGALE. Fisher pointed out that on page 20 of the policy platform, the Canadian Alliance states:
“We must treat all Canadians equally, giving everyone the respect and dignity they deserve under the law.”
Mere paragraphs later however, on the same page, the Alliance pledges:
“In addition, we will preserve and protect the family unit. We will protect the institution of marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman.”
“The hypocrisy of the Canadian Alliance is overwhelming,” said Fisher. “The Canadian Alliance cannot in the one breath say we must treat all Canadians equally and with respect, and in the next breath say that gays and lesbians will be denied the ability to marry and treated as second-class citizens. Stockwell Day is talking out of both sides of his mouth. It is just plain insulting to lesbian and gay Canadians to exclude us from the institution of marriage, and offer as an excuse the need to ‘protect’ marriage from us. These are not Canadian values. It is ironic that the policy platform is entitled A Time for Change ‘ when in reality Stockwell Day wants to take us back to the Dark Ages.”
Fisher also pointed out that the Canadian Alliance platform states (on p.21) that “the Canadian Alliance will make families a priority in considering all future legislation”. However, in a Globe and Mail interview the very day he was elected Leader of the Opposition, Stockwell Day said: “I define the family heterosexually.” Moreover, the Canadian Alliance voted unanimously against omnibus legislation brought forward by the Liberals earlier this year to treat same-sex families equally.
Fisher added: “It is fundamentally dishonest for the Canadian Alliance to mislead voters by subtitling their platform ‘An Agenda of Respect for All Canadians’ when part of that platform is the explicit denial of equality to lesbians and gays. Canadians deserve politicians with more integrity. Clearly, the Canadian Alliance does not support equal treatment for same-sex couples, and it insults the intelligence of Canadians for them to seek to run on a platform of equality for all. The upcoming election will be about the values we cherish as Canadians. The very least Canadians are entitled to expect is an honest debate on those values.”