The Liberal candidate for Saint Croix is no longer running with the party after an offensive 2017 Facebook post was shared on social media.
John Gardner’s post suggested that LGBTQ2I+ communities should stop using the rainbow as a symbol because it is “offending the Christian and Jewish community… as it has a strong biblical significance.”
Monday night Liberal leader for New Brunswick Kevin Vickers sent out a notice that the party is cutting ties with Gardner.
“Previous comments made by Mr. Gardner on social media are offensive to both women and the LGBTQ2I+ community and not in keeping with the values of the New Brunswick Liberal Party,” read the release.
Later that night, Gardner went to Facebook to announce that he will continue to run in the race — as an independent candidate.
“My comments, while on the outset, appear to be homophobic were pointing out the way in which we all fight for our rights, and sometimes conflict with what others consider to be their rights,” Gardner said on Facebook.
“I myself am part of the LGBT community, and work in a business where we fly the rainbow flag, not as a right, but as an identity,” he wrote.
Gardner proceeded to announce that he wasn’t a Liberal when asked to run for the party and is happy to announce he will still be running.
The Saint Croix riding will therefore not be able to vote Liberal in the upcoming election.
This incident is not an isolated one during this campaign.
N.B. progressive Conservative leader Blaine Higgs said Monday he was disturbed by the reposting of a transphobic meme by Roland Michaud, the party’s candidate in Victoria-La Vallee, that suggested physical violence against transgender women when they use washrooms.
With the revelation of the December 2018 post coming just a week before the Sept. 14 election, Michaud’s name will remain on the ballot and his party will be unable to provide a fresh candidate.
However, the party is asking Michaud to remove its signs and it will not accept Michaud into caucus should he be elected.
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