A Conservative MP who once described homosexuality as a sin is refusing to explain his participation in a video honouring a gay teen who was bullied before his suicide.
The video featuring several Tory MPs has sparked a debate about the Harper government’s approach toward gay rights and anti-discrimination measures.
David Sweet, who represents a southern Ontario riding, was once the president of the Christian men’s organization Promise Keepers Canada. The Toronto Star asked Sweet if he felt homosexuality was a sin in a 2002 interview.
“Yes, absolutely,” Sweet said at the time. “We take the Scriptures as the word of God. We look at homosexual behaviour and say that’s not what’s prescribed in the Scripture.”
Promise Keepers Canada currently has a book for sale on its website entitled, “Leaving Homosexuality: A Practical Guide for Men and Women Looking for a Way Out.” Sweet does not refer to his position at Promise Keepers in his online biography.
Sweet appears in a video released last week in memory of James Hubley, a 15-year-old Ottawa gay student who was bullied by his peers over his orientation. Sweet and other MPs declare, “It gets better,” the slogan used in a popular campaign directed towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth who are facing harassment. They later provide the number of a help line.
The video’s release coincided with Spirit Day, designated as a day to speak out against the bullying of gays.
Sweet did not respond to emails asking him about his previous comments and the video appearance. Outside the Commons Wednesday, he wouldn’t stop to take questions.