Conservative candidate for Steveston-Richmond East Kenny Chiu appears reluctant to clarify his personal views on homosexuality after fellow Conservative candidate Jagdish Grewal was expelled from his party for apparent homophobic comments.
Chiu is listed as a (past) board member for Abbotsford-based Columbia Bible College, which sets forth “community standards” in its policies that students must engage in “appropriate sexuality.” Inappropriate sexuality, according to the college, includes “pornography, harassment, premarital sex, adultery and homosexual activity.”
The college states it has zero tolerance for any of those “activities.”
Last week, Grewal was quoted in his Punjabi Post editorial — entitled ‘Is it wrong for a homosexual to become a normal person?’ — that homosexuality “can be corrected” with therapy.
Grewal has since denied being homophobic, claiming the article was mistranslated.
Homophobic remarks have arisen in the past from conservative-leaning candidates.
In 2003, federal Progressive Conservative deputy leader Elsie Wayne said Canadians should not have to tolerate gay pride parades and same-sex marriages. At that time, an account belonging to a Kenny Chiu, software engineer from B.C., defended Wayne and her right to free speech, on an online Reform Party forum.
“What Elsie said does echo much of how I feel living in this adopted country of mine. Sadly, Canada has ‘evolved’ into an all-tolerant; all accepting; fully embracing liberal country.
“Today in Canada, simply disagreeing to the claim that homosexuality is normal can result in crucifixion,” the comment stated.
Chiu was asked to clarify these comments. In addition to other questions on the topic, he was also specifically asked whether Grewal should be able to speak his mind on the subject of homosexuality.
After repeated phone calls, Chiu’s campaign manager, Jag Sanghera, replied, via email, citing Chiu: “This does not represent my views.” However, he didn’t clarify what “this” meant.
The News also asked if Chiu does think homosexuality is natural and appropriate, and, if so, whether he has brought those views to the board of Columbia Bible College. The college’s “community standards” against homosexuality resulted in a Facebook support group for alumni being formed this year.