Brad Trost is standing behind an advertisement on Facebook that recently drew criticism.
The advertisement, which said it is sponsored by Saskatoon-University MP Brad Trost, shows a picture of two fingers side-by-side. To the right is a message saying: “Marriage is the union of one man, one woman.”
“I stand by what I value and what I do,” Trost said.
Trost said the purpose of the ads was to figure out a campaign strategy.
“We realize same-sex marriage is not a top-of-mind issue for a lot of Canadians, but it is for a certain element of the Conservative Party,” Trost said.
“And it is because they see people who are opposed to same-sex marriage being discriminated against.”
The Saskatoon-University MP, who has announced his intention to seek the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, said an example might be parents who don’t want their children to learn certain topics in sex-ed classes, such as same-sex marriage.
So for that group of the population, this is a real live issue, we’re trying to figure out how to communicate with them, we haven’t figured out a total strategy, but this is one way we are experimenting,” Trost said.
Mike Patton, a campaign spokesperson, said the same-sex marriage advertisement was one of many that were being tested out across Facebook. Others had a focus on energy, such as oil, natural gas and coal.
As the Conservative leadership race continues, Trost said the specific same-sex marriage ad may not be used, but similar ones might be.
“On same-sex marriage you can have your viewpoint too,” Trost said.
“Same-sex marriage is something all Canadians don’t have to agree on. It’s something that if you want to have that as your viewpoint, you shouldn’t be discriminated against in your education choices, in your occupation choices and the question is even being asked if it’s now going to be one used in immigration screening.”
Trost is known for taking socially conservative stances in the past.
In 2011 he spoke out against the then-government’s decision to fund the International Planet Parenthood Federation and in 2016 he argued at the 2016 Conservative policy convention to keep the party’s definition of marriage in the official party document.
“This is a race for the leader of the Conservative Party,” Trost said.