Tories drop op­po­si­tion to same-sex mar­riage

SundayXtra - - LIBERAL CONVENTION -

con­ven­tion Satur­day af­ter­noon.

“To see those re­sults come in, to see the party so over­whelm­ingly agree that two con­sent­ing adults should have the right to marry is in­cred­i­ble,” said Joseph Heap, one of the spon­sors of the res­o­lu­tion.

The vote fol­lowed an in­tense de­bate in pol­icy work­shops Fri­day and on the floor Satur­day with some so­cial con­ser­va­tives ar­gu­ing any lead­er­ship can­di­date who sup­ported it would au­to­mat­i­cally lose their vote.

That didn’t faze can­di­date and MP Maxime Bernier, who spoke in favour of the mo­tion from the con­ven­tion floor.

“It’s about free­dom and re­spect. It’s about us and telling Cana­di­ans that you can love who you want and that you can be in love,” he said.

The res­o­lu­tion is not con­sis­tent with Con­ser­va­tive prin­ci­ples of faith, fam­ily and com­mu­nity, ar­gued Man­i­toba MP Ted Falk.

“This mo­tion is an at­tack on our val­ues and prin­ci­ples,” he said.

Oth­ers ar­gued it will drive away the party’s so­cially con­ser­va­tive base, though one self-pro­claimed so­cial con­ser­va­tive from a B.C. rid­ing dis­agreed, telling the con­ven­tion floor he saw it as a work­able com­pro­mise.

The mo­tion also adds to the pol­icy book sup­port for re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions to refuse to per­form unions or al­low the use of their fa­cil­i­ties for events that are in­com­pat­i­ble with their faith and be­lief.

“The most im­por­tant thing we need to re­mem­ber is we’re not re­defin­ing mar­riage here,” said Natalie Pon, one of the res­o­lu­tion’s spon­sors.

“We’re just tak­ing out a def­i­ni­tion that is out of date and out of touch.”

The vote was a cul­mi­na­tion of 2½ days of in­tro­spec­tion and in­tense de­bate among Con­ser­va­tives at a pol­icy con­ven­tion that was aimed at heal­ing some of the wounds fes­ter­ing since last fall’s elec­tion de­feat and fig­ure out what’s next.

“It’s a demon­stra­tion of the mat­u­ra­tion of our party,” for­mer Tory cabi­net min­is­ter Peter MacKay said of the vote.

“We’re clearly rec­og­niz­ing the law, the re­al­i­ties of peo­ple’s lives, and I’m heart­ened by the very open trans­par­ent way in which we dealt with this is­sue.”

JONATHAN HAY­WARD / THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Con­ser­va­tive MP Maxime Bernier (left) hugs del­e­gate Natalie Pon as she cel­e­brates the vote to elim­i­nate op­po­si­tion to same- sex mar­riage from Con­ser­va­tive poli­cies at the party’s con­ven­tion in Van­cou­ver.

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