Tory leadership hopeful Brad Trost says he’ll never march in pride parades

Click to play video: 'Conservatives on the defence over gay rights issues'
Conservatives on the defence over gay rights issues
WATCH: Conservatives on the defence over gay rights issues. Tom Vernon explains – Mar 29, 2017

Brad Trost says he will never march in any gay pride parade if chosen to replace Stephen Harper as leader of Canada’s Conservative Party, nor will he ever help fund gay pride events as prime minister.

In an email sent out Monday night to supporters and a Facebook message published Tuesday morning, Trost — an avowed social conservative — encouraged people to sign up in the dying hours before today’s 5 p.m. deadline to register as a party member and help choose the next leader.

“I have not marched in any ‘gay pride’ parade,” Trost wrote, adding quotations around “gay pride” in the message.

“If you agree that no leader of the Conservative Party of Canada should march in a ‘gay pride’ parade nor fund such events, register to vote, now, before the deadline of 5 p.m. eastern, Tuesday, March 28th.”

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Later Tuesday, Trost staffer Mike Patton tweeted out a video explaining the campaign’s position on pride parades in more detail.

“In case you haven’t noticed, Brad’s not entirely comfortable with the whole gay thing,” Patton said.

Indeed, Trost’s stance on pride is consistent with past statements involving the LGBTQ community. The Saskatchewan MP sent out a Facebook post last September that said marriage should be the union of one man and one woman.

Before that, Trost vocally opposed the Conservative Party’s move to scrap its policy opposing same-sex marriage last year, arguing that “the traditional family is better for our society.”

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He acknowledged, however, that re-opening the debate is probably not in the cards.

Trost’s email Monday night also included a screen-grab of fellow leadership contender Kevin O’Leary talking about gay marriage, and a photo of Kellie Leitch, Michael Chong, Maxime Bernier and Lisa Raitt at the 2016 pride parade in Toronto.

READ MORE: Councillor considering motion to pull funding for Toronto Pride parade

Current interim leader Rona Ambrose was pictured beside them.

While former Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not typically march in pride parades, the Conservative Party has increased its presence at the events in recent years.

“Who you love or how you identify should never be cause for fear or anxiety,” Ambrose said in a video made public last May on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

“Canada must continue to be a model of an inclusive society at home, while standing up for tolerance around the globe.”

The Conservatives are set to choose their next leader on May 27.

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