UCP nomination candidate who shared Facebook post opposing same-sex marriage staying in race

Embattled UCP nomination candidate Sandra Kim appears to be staying in the race in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin amid criticisms over a Facebook post she shared three years ago. The post referenced Christian values and opposition to same-sex unions.

Sandra Kim apologized for post and is still running in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin amid criticisms

Sandra Kim apologized for sharing a social media post three years ago opposing same sex unions, and says she's focussed on winning the party nomination. (Facebook)

Embattled UCP candidate Sandra Kim says she is staying in the nomination race in the Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin riding amid criticisms over a Facebook post she shared three years ago.

The post referenced Christian values and opposition to same-sex marriage.

Kim told CBC news she has apologized for her Facebook post and is now focused on winning the contest to become the UCP candidate in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin for the 2019 provincial election.

The original Facebook post, shared by Kim in June 2015, has now been widely circulated on social media since it resurfaced last week.

It reads "Yes, I am a Christian, I believe the Bible. I do not support homosexuality, or 'homosexual marriage.' "
A 2015 Facebook message from Sandra Kim, later reposted on Twitter, expressing opposition to same-sex marriage. Kim has since apologized for the post and is still running for the UCP nomination in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin. (Twitter)

The post then goes on to say "I am not judging you," but, "we have a right to speak what we believe, same as you have a right to speak what you believe."

Kim issued an apology late last week on social media for sharing posts "without fully thinking through how they could be perceived."

She added that it was never her intention to offend anyone, and that "I also accept that same-sex marriage is the law of the land and is a settled issue."

'Troubling opinions' —  Notley

In Calgary last weekend, Premier Rachel Notley said the post is contrary to recent comments by UCP Leader Jason Kenney where he declared that the UCP is not "a party of hate."

Notley said the Kim post contained "extremely troubling opinions."

What was even more disturbing, said Notley, was that Kim's candidacy was endorsed by three sitting UCP MLAs, including the deputy leader.

"So it sounds to me like folks in that party have not gotten the memo," said Notley.

Notley said Albertans need political parties and governments "that respect that Alberta is an open, inclusive province where diversity is celebrated — not judged, not rejected, not opposed." 
Premier Rachel Notley says what's more disturbing than the UCP nomination candidate's social media posts, were her endorsements by three sitting UCP MLAs. (CBC)

MLA endorsements of Kim have since been removed from her Facebook page.

In an interview with CBC News, Kim says her apology stands. But she seemed bewildered by some of the criticism that has emerged.

"I haven't said anything hateful at all," said Kim, "in fact, quite the opposite.

"I'm here to represent the people of my constituency should they choose to elect me. That's the job, so that is what I'm working for," Kim added.

Kim has also made recent social media comments warning about the loss of  "freedom of belief" in favour of views acceptable to the state.

"We are at a tipping point in society," she warned on Facebook and Twitter. "Do we believe in freedom of belief or only state accepted thought? The NDP have beat this drum and people don't dance to it anymore."

Vetting not finished

UCP executive director Janice Harrington wouldn't comment directly on the Kim posts. However, Harrington noted the vetting process for all candidates seeking the UCP Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin nomination has not been completed.

Applications to seek the UCP nomination in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin opened July 20 and will close Aug. 2. Elections Alberta lists three candidates who are seeking the party nomination: Donna Andres, Kim and Richard Wilson.

Harrington confirmed a date hasn't been set to vote for the new candidate.

Earlier in July, the UCP disqualified a candidate seeking the Brooks-Medicine Hat nomination, citing some of his anti-Islamic online comments, including several posted to Facebook in 2017.

The posts by Todd Beasley called the religion an "evil cult." The posts came to light only days before party members were set to vote in the constituency of Brooks-Medicine Hat to choose their candidate to run in the 2019 Alberta election.