Doug Ford is at his man’s side.
Amid calls for a Progressive Conservative MP to resign over homophobic statements in a religious publication he oversaw, Ford insists Will Bouma is not anti-gay.
Ford defended the MPP’s first term and suggested the charges against Bouma were fabricated.
“Let me tell you, anyone who knows Will – and knows his family – knows that’s not his view,” the Conservative leader told reporters in Hamilton on Wednesday.
“He had no involvement, I repeat, he had no involvement in this article,” Ford said.
“Will Bouma is a credible person, a credible man and an incredible family. He just doesn’t believe it and he didn’t. I don’t know who invents this stuff.
Bouma (Brantford-Brant), a Christian Reformed Church committee executive who published the controversial Youth Messenger magazine before his election in 2018, has also distanced himself from the religious periodical.
“I am a proud, loving and supportive father of a daughter who is a member of the LGBTQ community,” Bouma said on Twitter Wednesday.
“My opinions are clear, I support the rights of all my constituents, regardless of their orientation. I did not participate in the writing of these articles,” he said.
Her daughter, Lena Bouma, weighed herself on Wednesday.
“I’m proud to be gay. I love my dad…and he loves me,” she added. tweeted.
“He understands that being gay is not a choice and supports every one of his gay constituents. What I find dangerous is stereotyping people based on their religious background…”
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca – who himself fired two candidates last week for past remarks about homosexuality – said Conservative Leader Doug Ford should drop Bouma immediately.
“It’s deeply, deeply offensive,” Del Duca told reporters during a campaign stop in Eglinton-Lawrence, a PC-held riding his party hopes to win back on June 2.
“He has no place in the tolerant and respectful Ontario we are trying to build.
In Kingston, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said that even though Bouma’s daughter is gay, “that doesn’t excuse anything” in a magazine he helped run.
“It’s inexcusable and should never have happened,” Horwath said.
“Love is love and we are all equal,” she said, denouncing “these hateful beliefs” conveyed by some.
According to an article in Press Progress, a publication funded by the left-leaning Broadbent Institute, Youth Messenger magazine urged young people to reject “the homosexual lifestyle”.
The publication also promoted the discredited and, as of last year, illegal practice of “conversion therapy”.
He also claimed that “homosexuality has always been considered a sin, however grave” and railed against “adultery, fornication, impurity and lust”, equating them with “witchcraft”.
Local NDP candidate and former teachers’ union president Harvey Bischof said that while Bouma may not have written the articles in question, he was a key part of the publication that did.
“For (voters) to find that their representative at Queen’s Park has espoused views that I believe are hateful, hurtful, harmful, I just don’t think we have a place for that here in this community,” Bischof said.
“I didn’t hear him speak out against those views – he didn’t speak out against them when he was leading the committee overseeing the magazine that oversaw those stories,” he said.
“What I saw in his tweet was a very narrow disclaimer – he says he had no part in writing the articles and that’s really beside the point,” the former Federation president said. Ontario secondary school teachers.
“The question isn’t whether he personally put pen to paper, it’s whether he stood up to support the community and speak out against what his church is saying, and I don’t see any of that. trace.”
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