PCs trumpet 'acceptance' after Ric McIver's March for Jesus appearance

The PC party released a statement Monday afternoon saying that "closed mindedness or intolerance have no place in the [Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta]."

This comes after party leadership candidate Ric McIver participated in an event for a group that condemns homosexuals, March for Jesus.

From the group's website:

"Last year alone, Calgary's streets were flooded with people of wrong sexual preferences during a homosexual parade of over 30,000 attendees and none of them were embarrassed the slightest to publicly even present their nakedness in front of families and in front of future generations to openly proclaim and manifest that they are not ashamed to declare the name of their master (Satan) and in the same way not concerned with provoking greatly the wrath of the living God."

The group held its annual parade Sunday.

A statement from Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta president Jim McCormick on Monday said that tolerance and acceptance were vital to the province.

"Individual members are expected to follow our statement of principles, which includes that of being an open party that's accessible to all Albertans. Closed mindedness or intolerance have no place in the PCAA."

McIver released his own statementMonday morning, saying he does not share the beliefs of organizers.

The PC leadership candidate says he is a Roman Catholic, and he deplores "discrimination against all groups and individuals without exception."

Meanwhile, Twitter users pointed to a marked divide on how another PC leadership candidate spent their day — Thomas Lukaszuk​ participated in the presentation of Alberta's first gender-altered child birth certifcate.

Lukaszuk responded to the tweet on Twitter, by posting a photo of him and a priest, saying, "That's all good, but selfies and face painting with my parish RC priest today is way more fun."

The PC MLA declined to comment to the CBC about McIver's participation in the march, but said he has been approached by same group to attend events and declined.

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Former Conservative MP Jim Prentice is also vying to replace Alison Redford as party leader. Redford stepped down as premier and leader in March.

A spokesperson for Prentice released a statement Monday afternoon saying that when he was an MP, Prentice voted in favour of marriage equality.

"He has spent his entire career advocating for the individual rights of Canadians and Albertans, and also for the rights of our communities of faith, Aboriginal Canadians, and learning disabled children," reads the statement.

Dave Hancock is serving as the interim premier for Alberta until the party holds its leadership vote in September.