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Sexual orientation is a choice, B.C. Conservative leadership candidate says

Former Delta MP John Cummins during a press conference where he formally announced he wants to lead the BC Conservative Party in Vancouver March 29, 2011.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

The BC Conservative's leader-designate John Cummins has made headlines for suggesting that sexual orientation is a choice that does not require specific protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

In comments to Victoria's CFAX radio, subsequently reported by the Victoria Times Colonist, Mr. Cummins said he voted against adding sexual orientation as a ground for discrimination under Canada's Human Rights Act when he was an MP in Ottawa.

"I'm not a scientist [but]some of the research tells me that there's more of an indication that that's a choice issue," he said.

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Homosexual men and lesbians already have the protection of the Human Rights Act, he said.

Asked about those comments at a political rally in Victoria on Wednesday night, Mr. Cummins said his opinions were personal.

"I'm pro-life, I'm pro-traditional marriage, that's my view, I'm not a scientist," he told the Times Colonist. "I'm not going to discuss that, they're personal issues, private issues."

Mr. Cummins spent 18 years as an MP for Delta Richmond East before he retired in March. He announced his candidacy for the BC Conservative party on March 29.

A leadership convention is scheduled for May 28 and Mr. Cummins, currently the leader-designate, is the sole candidate.

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About the Author
National correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Wendy Stueck has covered technology and business and now reports on British Columbia issues including natural resources, aboriginal issues and urban affairs. More

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