New BC Liberal leadership contestant Aaron Gunn says he would make space for anti-2SLGBTQ+ views in the party if elected leader.
On a recent podcast, Gunn was asked about the BC Liberals being “mired with this image that it’s homophobic and sexist.”
Gunn blamed the media and promised to defend social conservatives:
“I think that we got trapped into games being played by the media and got put on the defensive. Look, I think that it's got to be a big tent party, it's got to have people from all across the political spectrum on the social issues specifically that you mentioned… I don’t think social conservatives should be thrown under the bus in the party. They’re an important part of British Columbia and its history.” (MicroLink, 5:50)
Gunn has also expressed harmful views himself:
- He’s said the “gender pay gap doesn’t exist;”
- He claimed UBC was trying to “indoctrinate the next generation with garbage” for teaching medical students to respect their patients’ gender identities;
- He opposed Conservative MP Derek Sloan’s ejection from the Conservative caucus. Sloan supports using conversion therapy on 2SLGBTQ+ teens;
- He denies the existence of systemic racism.
The BC Liberals’ internal election review said these candidates were allowed to run because of “a fundamental tension which exists within the BC Liberal Party and most other centre-right parties in Canada. There is a belief, correct or otherwise, that alienating socially conservative Christian voters will make it impossible to assemble a winning coalition.”
Grace Lore, MLA, Victoria-Beacon Hill:
"The BC Liberals have made room for candidates with harmful and discriminatory views for too long. Welcoming Aaron Gunn into their party shows they haven’t changed. It’s time for every leadership candidate to say that candidates like Aaron Gunn, Margaret Kunst, or Laurie Throness will not be allowed to run under their leadership."