Lawyer challenging GSA bill compares pride flags to swastikas
A lawyer who is leading the charge against Alberta’s gay straight alliance bill is responding to criticism after a speech he gave this weekend.
On Saturday, Calgary lawyer John Carpay, with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, spoke at a conference organized by Rebel Media, a far-right media organization.
During his speech Carpay made remarks about totalitarianism, appearing to equate a rainbow flag to a swastika in regards to hostility towards individual freedoms.
"How do we defeat today's totalitarianism? You've got to think about the common characteristics. It doesn't matter whether it's a hammer and sickle for communism, or whether it's the swastika for Nazi Germany or whether it's a rainbow flag, the underlying thing is a hostility to individual freedoms," Carpay said.
Christine Myatt, a spokesperson for UCP leader Jason Kenney, provided the following emailed statement in response to Carpay's comments:
"Of course we do not believe the rainbow flag has any equivalency to fascism and communism — ideologies that have been responsible for the deaths of well over 100 million people. The UCP is a big-tent party that supports the rule of law, equality of all before the law, and protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all. In that light, the UCP hosted Pride breakfasts in both Edmonton and Calgary this year."
The UCP have been embroiled in multiple controversies, recently having to kick out a member after he was alleged to have ties to a store that sold items associated with white supremacists.
The comments have the executive director of one left-leaning advocacy group demanding action from UCP leader Jason Kenney.
“If Jason Kenney and the UCP don't remove John Carpay from the UCP, it is an implicit acknowledgment that that type of hate and homophobia is welcome in the UCP,” said Duncan Kinney with Progress Alberta.
Carpay has since apologized for his comments but isn’t backing down from the speech he made saying the comparison made more sense in context.
“I'm sorry for having equated those three flags in the same sentence, I certainly didn't mean to suggest that the three ideologies are the same,” said Carpay. “I would invite people to see the entire 20 minute presentation.”
Carpay would not confirm to CTV Edmonton that he is a member of the UCP.
With files from Jeremy Thompson