Canada

Tory MP stands by 'shut up' remark to gays

Tory MP Elsie Wayne unrepentant for saying gay people should 'shut up' about marriage.

Elsie Wayne was unrepentant on Friday for saying gay people should "shut up" about wanting to get married. She did, however express regret that some people were offended.

"My only goal was to reiterate my support for the historic definition of marriage," she said in a statement. "I regret that some have been offended by my remarks because this was certainly not my intention."

Wayne told CBC Newsworld on Friday that she has gay friends, and respects them.

"They don't come out and they don't ask us to redefine the definition of marriage," Wayne said. "They don't even talk about that."

The veteran Tory member of Parliament was under fire for comments she made about gay marriage during debate on Thursday in the House of Commons.

"Why do they have to be out here in the public, always debating that they want to call it marriage? Why are they in parades? Why are men dressed up as women on floats?" she said.

"If they are going to live together, go live together and shut up about it."

New Democrat MP Libby Davies, who is in a lesbian relationship, said the comments were shocking.

"I expect her as an experienced member of Parliament to not get down in the gutter and make those kinds of comments about other people," Davies said.

Tory MP Scott Brison, who is openly gay and is running for the party leadership, said the remarks verge on bigotry. He called on Wayne to step aside as deputy leader.

Tory Leader Joe Clark released a statement that said Wayne would be deputy leader until his own term ends on May 31.

"As a citizen, she is entitled to express her personal opinions but should be conscious of their impact on others," the statement said.

Her opinions aren't those of Clark or the party, he said.

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