Is Richard Décarie a relic from a bygone era in Canada? A Liberal plant? Or part of some bigger plan by the federal Conservatives as they get set to launch their leadership race following the resignation of current leader Andrew Scheer, who has had his own problems with the concepts of same-sex marriage and Pride Parades.

Those are questions some people are asking amidst the backlash — including the denunciation of the comments by prominent members of the Conservatives — over Décarie’s assertions in a CTV interview that marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman, that same-sex couples should be restricted to civil unions, that being gay is “a choice,” and that “LGBTQ is a Liberal term.”

No one thinks Décarie — a former political aide to Stephen Harper who claims he is planning a leadership bid — has a chance of being admitted to the race, let alone winning it. Hence the suspicion that there is something else going on here, that perhaps the Conservatives are outing the last dinosaurs in their party and in their base after a disastrous election campaign that was theirs for the winning — if not for the bungling of Scheer.

Some argue Scheer and his Conservatives lost the last federal election, in October 2019, because he refused to walk in Pride Parades and because he was evasive about his personal beliefs on same-sex marriage. He did say he wouldn’t turn back the clock on same-sex marriage. But he never embraced LGBTQ people the way other party leaders have done by being visible during Pride Parades and generally supporting them. The media played it up and his party lost an election it should have won.

Décarie argues that he is stating his personal beliefs — which is his right, after all — and that he has a lot of social conservative supporters.

Perhaps there is a segment of Canadian society that still believes it should be able to restrict LGBTQ civil rights, but there aren’t enough of them to win the leadership race for Décarie. And if by some fluke he did become Conservative leader, some if not most of his MPs would probably refuse to serve under him and the party would certainly lose the next federal election.

In short, Conservative MPs don’t want to turn back the clock.

So, what’s up? Why would a former Harper aide pop up out of nowhere spewing this nonsense?

There are some who believe Harper — the former prime minister — is still pulling the strings of the Conservative party behind the scenes. Is he behind this? If so, why?

I’m hoping that some good will come of all this, that the Conservative party — and all of their supporters — will finally lay the old anti-LGBTQ prejudices to rest. As a party, they won’t win — indeed, might not even survive — as long as there is any hint of discrimination and bigotry within their ranks, and, to some extent, within their base: social (read: fundamentalist) conservatives must also evolve with the times.

No, I don’t support the Conservative party, but I would like to see it fully evolve to the year 2020 and work with the other parties on contemporary issues.

What say you?

— Jillian