A member of Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) has apologized after he ‘unintentionally’ compared the Pride flag to the flags featuring swastikas.
Lawyer and president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms John Carpay made the problematic remark on Saturday 9 November. He spoke at a conference organized by the conservative news outlet Rebel Media in Calgary, Canada.
‘It doesn’t matter whether it’s a swastika […] or a rainbow flag’
Carpay was discussing the nature of totalitarianism when he mentioned the rainbow flag and the flags with Nazi and communist symbols.
Watch the video below:
BREAKING: Jason Kenney's friend and donor John Carpay just compared the pride flag to the swastika and the hammer/sickle. Will @jkenney return this bigot's campaign contribution? And—revoke his UCP membership immediately? (Video credit: @mbueckert) #yyc #ableg #abpoli pic.twitter.com/vQs9r8lxec
— Kyle Morrow (@kylemmorrow) November 11, 2018
‘How do we defeat today’s totalitarianism? ‘Cause again, you got to think to the common characteristics,’ he said during the conference.
‘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 hostility towards individual freedoms.’
Carpay issued a statement to clarify his comments
After receiving backlash online, Carpay issued a statement Sunday evening to clarify his remarks.
Carpay explained he ‘referred in the same sentence’ to the rainbow flag and the flags bearing swastikas or communist symbols.
In doing so, he ‘unintentionally drew a broad comparison’ between them.
He also said he meant to stress the need to defend fundamental rights such as free speech. He added that slogans promoting diversity and inclusion have been abused in ways that undermine those freedoms.
Carpay is now behind a legal challenge to Alberta’s law on gay-straight alliances.