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Hunsperger appears in public for the first time
Julia Parrish, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Monday, April 16, 2012 5:25PM MDT
Amid calls for him to step down as Wildrose candidate for Edmonton-Southwest, MLA hopeful Allan Hunsperger made his first public appearance at a party campaign event Monday.
In a blog posting in June of last year, Wildrose candidate Allan Hunsperger called homosexuality a choice....before writing...."…you will suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell, a place of eternal suffering. Now at this point I am not judging, I am simply stating a fact!"
On Monday, Hunsperger briefly answered questions, and echoed a statement released Sunday.
"I love people and everybody, I have no intolerance about anyone, but I do have a personal religious view," Hunsperger said Monday.
"My views were my personal religious views," Hunsperger continued. "I also agree with the leader, and Danielle Smith says the Wildrose will not be legislating on contentious social issues."
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith appeared to support the candidate in a speech given at the event.
"I believe in freedom of religion, and I do believe that religious people do have an opportunity, and should run for public office," Smith said.
However, just before the party event wrapped up, Hunsperger was ushered out by party officials into a waiting van in an alley behind the event venue
The event was held hours after Wildrose party officials cut off a news conference, saying questions to Smith were off topic, this after she answered a question about Hunsperger's blog.
"What they believe in their own religious private practice is none of my business," Smith stated. "As a political leader the separation of church and state is there for a reason. We do not want the state interfering in the private religious affairs of our citizens."
On Sunday, Progressive Conservative Party Leader Alison Redford was in Calgary, and was asked about a blog posting.
"The fact that these people think that's a legitimate perspective just absolutely blows my mind," Redford said.
As for Hunsperger's future in the party, a Wildrose insider told CTV News asking him to step down is not an option.
With files from Kevin Armstrong
Edmonton-Southwest Wildrose candidate Allan Hunsperger leaves a party campaign event on Monday, April 16.
Allan Hunsperger, a pastor who is running as a candidate for the Wildrose party, is seen in this image captured from video.