By Jeremy Nolais June 19, 2014
Ric McIver addresses the media Thursday as criticism persisted over his attendance at a religious march Sunday organized by a preacher with anti-gay views.
Calgary MLA Ric McIver conceded Thursday he’d made a mistake attending a religious march organized by a vocally anti-gay street preacher.
One of three candidates vying for the provincial Tory leadership, McIver has been under fire this week after posting a picture to Twitter of himself at Calgary’s annual March for Jesus on Sunday.
Critics were quick to lash out at his decision to partake, pointing to a website for the event that describes homosexuality as being the “wrong sexual preference.”
McIver told reporters Thursday he wasn’t aware of the comments when he signed on to kickoff the march — it was the fourth time he’s participated.
“It’s an expression of my faith,” he said. “What I did not do — and what I regret and what I apologize for — (is) I didn’t do my homework.”
The primary organizer of the march, Art Pawlowski, has also said last year’s historic flood was partially caused by God weeping for the “perversions of homosexuality.”
McIver said he wouldn’t march again unless there was a change in management. He said he’s contacted Pawlowski about removing any references to him from his website but the notorious preacher has yet to do so.
Pawlowski told Metro over Facebook that he’s in currently in his home country of Poland. McIver deemed the online comments, “nasty, mean-spirited stuff.”
“I apologize for drawing attention to it,” he added.
Political scientists had said McIver would be well-served to apologize and denounce the comments and some critics, including Pride Calgary President Stephen Wright, suggested that because he didn’t do so immediately it may be “too little, too late.”
The long-time Calgary politician did post a statement to Facebook Monday that reiterated his support for diversity.
McIver said he’s also planning to attend a gay rodeo later this month and was looking at squeezing an appearance at Calgary’s Pride Parade into his busy campaign schedule.
He did vouch support for Pawlowski in a 2013 documentary called Street Advocate and encouraged people to view the film.
“It seems to me he’s getting picked on,” he told the filmmaker.
But the MLA said Thursday his participation in the film was purely in support of the efforts of Pawlowski and his Street Church flock to feed people — most of them poor — at routine gatherings near city hall.
“I support somebody that feeds people when they’re poor,” McIver said.
He said he hadn’t been asked to pull out of the Tory leadership race by the party’s top brass and deflected questions suggesting the recent controversy could be the PC’s only form of a “Lake of Fire” scandal — a reference to Wildrose leader Danielle Smith refusing to renounce anti-gay comments from one of her candidates in the 2012 election, a move some pundits believe cost her the election.
But McIver made it very clear he doesn’t support Pawlowski’s claims.
“The Christian faith is love your neighbour like you love yourself,” he said. “What’s on that website is ugly.”
Comments after the article:
-Politics is a dirty game…from what I gather from this news smear is that attending this march defines McIver’s Politics?…what if he attends a Mosque,or a summer or fall festival (Pagan). It is time the dirty Politics end and the meat of the problems discussed…..
Main Stream Media are after all Rating Whores who loves to make contraversy.
-What a ridiculous smear on McIver. If I recorded every faith hating smear on twitter from gay pride parade supporters I am sure I would end up with a telephone book of hateful comments. Using the logic of this article I could take those comments and indicate every politician in the parade hates all people of faith.
-The visceral hate by the gay community towards the church- simply because it believes that children have a right to a mother father has gone beyond the point of being sad to the point of abusing the right of religious expression. Eliminating free speech is hateful.
-The above article is a hate crime.
-Saying that any one is guilty of a hate crime because they walk in a march for Jesus parade borders on the ludicrous. Dismissing anyone from politics who believes in heterosexual relationships or that a child has a right to a mother and father…is the true hate crime.
-Okay, let me get this straight (no pun intended).
The gay community has come out and publicly derided the March for Jesus gathering because its members have a vastly different viewpoint than theirs…because the March for Jesus crowd has derided the Pride Parade for having a wildly different set of opinions from theirs.
I guess you can only have one opinion in this province.
-The church in modern times has always defended the weak. Part of that is ensuring children have a mom and dad if possible. Albert Einstein admired the church because it had courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom ” Many were murdered for that stand. It looks like a new round of persecution has begun.
-I think it’s time for left wing politicians to state that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ is actually a hateful bigot. In addition that they as politicians hate Jesus Christ and would be embarrassed to march in a parade honouring him. Jim Prentice and Thomas Lukaszuk please make your stand clear.
-Actually I was thinking the same thing as Colin. You aren’t going to agree with everything your group, political party, or even family does. Why is it always guilty by association. Politics is dirty because it is dominated by lobby groups. After big business, gays, religon, minorities then you get to the average person. How is what Ric did different than what other politicians do? We know domestic violence and women’s rights are issues in the punjabi community so when Redford dressed up in a sari does that mean she supports this? What about Harper? We know Israel sterilized Ethiopian women to keep the black population down and commits other human rights violations yet he is lighting minoras. Should someone not vote for Nenshi for walking in a gay pride parade? Of course not. At the end of the day is Ric out to do the best for all Albertans. I didn’t vote for him but the parades people march in don’t sway me.