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On one side: a bid to further entrench the party’s stand against same-sex marriage with a resolution to protect “the rights of Canadian workers who believe in the traditional definition of marriage from employment discrimination on the basis of their deeply held religious beliefs.”
On the other: efforts to get the existing policy banning same-sex marriage dropped altogether.
The party can’t afford to lose its base of social conservatives, said Jack Fonseca, program manager with Campaign Life Coalition, which recently published a list of six pro-life, pro-family resolutions it says will be debated at the convention in May including the same-sex marriage one.
But those values should extend to, at very least, having no party policy on same-sex marriage, others argue.
Last year, a group calling itself LGBTory began to campaign to change current policy, arguing it offended not just LGBT Conservatives but all those who side with the Tories on fiscal or foreign policy issues but oppose their social ideas.
The party policy, as it stands, is that Parliament and not the courts should determine the definition of marriage and that the party supports legislation defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
But it also allows for free votes on matters of conscience, including same-sex marriage, so there’s no sense having a specific policy prohibition against it, the group says.
A resolution to delete the same-sex marriage provisions was backed by a policy congress of Alberta Conservatives earlier this year, as well as regional policy meetings in Quebec and Toronto, although that one was a close vote.
Last Friday, she hosted them at the Opposition leader’s residence in Ottawa. The next day, the party announced it was reducing its yearly membership fee to $ 15 from $ 25 after an outcry from its grassroots.
He said he expects the policy committee to honour the results of that vote and if they don’t, party members should “raise hell.”