Tom Lukiwski, a Conservative MP from Saskatchewan, has apologized for homophobic slurs that he made on an unoffical 1991 campaign tape:
The only explanation I can give is that I was stupid, thoughtless and insensitive.
The comments I made should not be tolerated in any society. They should not be tolerated today, they should not have been tolerated in 1991, they should not have been tolerated the years previous to that.
The videotape, which was made during a Saskatchewan election campaign, showed a younger Lukiswki boasting about how he stands out as a nominee:
Let me put it to you this way: There’s As and there’s Bs. The As are guys like me; the Bs are homosexual faggots with dirt on their fingernails that transmit disease.
While reaction to the initial comments has been near-universal condemnation, the apology’s reaction has been varied. Liberal MP, Scott Brison, is calling for Lukiswki to be fired, and NDP MP, Bill Siksay, says he thought the apology was sincere. (Both MPs are gay themselves.)
Personally, I think the comments were pretty awful, and their age is irrelevant. Lukiwski was a 40 year old man at the time, and an aspiring politician to boot. It was the right thing to do to apologize, and I think calling for his resignation is a little reactionary, but we really ought to be on the lookout for these attitudes in our policy makers.
It comes as no surprise that Lukiwski voted against civil marriage for same-sex couples each time it has come before parliament. It would be irresponsible, rather than just ignorant, to have voted that way based on the sort of homophobia that Lukiwski displayed. Actions speak louder than words; I think he really ought to do more than just apologise and show that he no longer believes what he said.