Last Saturday, John Carpay, a United Conservative member who has been called a “close personal friend” of Jason Kenney’s, gave a speech at a Rebel Live event in Calgary. The Rebel is an independent media organization much like Alex Jones’ InfoWars in the U.S.. It speaks specifically to those on the highly conservative side of the political spectrum who are mostly fearful but also attracts a sliding scale of anti-immigrant, anti-science, anti-fact, gun-protecting, Christians.
Carpay wears many hats; ardent Christian, Post Millennial author, free (religious) speech advocate, Campus free (religious) speech judge, lawyer and President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. Carpay’s work with the JCCF focuses on challenging the constitutionality of policies that infringe upon religious rights. A registered charity, the JCCF has collected over a million dollars annually for the past two years; almost triple its reported amounts prior to 2015. The JCCF is currently representing a group of parents and faith-based schools in challenging the constitutionality of the Alberta government’s Bill 24, the Act to Strengthen Gay-Straight Alliances.
In his speech on the Free Society, Carpay focused on totalitarianism, claiming Canada is heading down a dangerous path toward government having complete say over what we do, think and believe. Totalitarianism, he said, is as much represented by the hammer and sickle, swastika as it is a rainbow flag. The following day he issued a statement to the general public, which was picked up by mainstream media (but unlikely to be reprinted by the Rebel), saying his equation of the rainbow flag to murderous regimes that targeted those represented by it was “unintentional”.
Jason Kenney, for his part, issued a bizarre condemnation of Carpay’s statement on twitter for the “over-caffeinated lefties” (nothing on Facebook). His condemnation of Carpay’s remarks seemed to come more from frustration over the “belittling” of communist and Nazi mass murders than taking a stand for LGBTQ communities.
Be that as it may, I’d also like to stop seeing people ask for apologies. The only people those apologies mean something to are a) unlikely to believe them, and b) highly unlikely to vote for the person it came from anyway.
As much as I may have demonized Jason Kenney’s actions in the past, LGBTory’s statement of support for Kenney came out just in time. The group of conservative LGB members say he has “done more” for gay rights than many others. And few can claim they also fought as hard against those rights as well.
I would instead argue that Kenney won’t be a problem for Alberta’s LGBTQ communities not because Kenney supports them or because his views have changed. Jason Kenney won’t be a problem because he is a career politician who has learned to keep his hands clean. He’s just giving these individuals a ride to the Legislature folks – carry on; there’s nothing to see here.
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