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Liberals drop Muskoka candidate over claims about homosexuality in self-published book

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The Ontario Liberal Party has dropped its candidate in Parry Sound-Muskoka after it was revealed he wrote a book in which he claimed homosexuality is “caused” by infants “rebreathing” shortly after they are born.

In a portion of his self-published book, Rebreathing, Stanley discussed his theories of rebreathing and sexual orientation. He wrote homosexuality “may also be caused by depleted rebreathing occurring shortly after birth… it is related to how the brain has developed.”

“We were unaware of Barry Stanley’s book, which he admits he failed to disclose to the vetting team,” Andrea Ernesaks, a spokesperson for the Ontario Liberal Party, said in a statement to Global News.

“As soon as we learned of this history, we immediately informed him that he will not be running as part of our Liberal team.”

Read more: Better medical care, more roads among Liberal election promises to northern Ontario

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The story was first reported by the Toronto Star. Stanley told The Star the ideas in the book are “untested, unproven” and that “there’s no proof to anything I have there.”

Shortly after the Ontario Liberals confirmed Stanley would no longer be a candidate for the party, the NDP issued a statement.

“This writing is hurtful to the entire 2SLGBTQIA+ community,” the NDP wrote, saying Stanley should be dropped immediately.

The riding is being contested by Graydon Smith for the PCs and Erin Horvath for the Ontario NDP. Matt Richer is the Green candidate.

Former PC MPP Norman Miller represented the riding from 2001 and retired this year. He won his seat with almost 50 per cent of the vote in 2018.

“Steven Del Duca and the Ontario Liberal Party condemn these offensive views and will not accept any candidates who have a track record of bigotry or homophobia,” Ernesaks’ statement said.

“We hope that every party takes a similar stance.”

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