Thomas A. Lukaszuk

Yesterday was a day of differences. I attended a gay pride event and a Polish community event; my campaign counterpart Ric McIver was in a March for Jesus parade in Calgary.

Today, Albertans asked whether some of the views about LGBTQ expressed by the organizers of the march are appropriate in a modern Alberta, and whether politicians should be associated with those views.

My own views on human sexuality are on the record. I have been an advocate for individual rights, I have initiated ground-breaking

projects to end homophobic bullying, I have supported Camp fYrefly and other programs for young people struggling with their own identities, I supported changes to Alberta’s birth certificate requirements for transgendered Albertans, and I voted in favour of gay-straight alliances. I am proud of this record.

I am also proud of my work within the Roman Catholic church. My faith values all people as individuals, and not as objects of hate or exclusion.

Today, Mr. McIver made a statement on Facebook defending his choice, and Albertans will judge for themselves what they think of that choice. This afternoon, I made a statement to media: ( https://soundcloud.com/votethomas-ca/rights-and-inclusion ) about the general issues of human rights.

While Albertans’ human rights were being attacked, the third candidate tweeted about valuing health care. Then a spokesperson commented about rights. And moments ago, he said on Facebook that he supports equality.

True leadership is about standing up for what you believe in – right when it happens. Leadership is about challenging people who focus their hate on people, not on ideas. It is not about relying on spokespeople, or hoping an issue will fade away before the 11 o’clock news.

All we have is our voices. Let’s use our voices to stand up for an inclusive, welcoming Alberta. One day, we may need the voices of others to defend our rights…

 
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