'I do endorse Laurie Throness', Christian Heritage Party leader says
The leader of the fundamentalist Christian Heritage Party of Canada is asking his supporters to back a candidate running for a different party in British Columbia’s upcoming provincial election — BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness.
Rod Taylor, the leader of the Christian nationalist party that openly advocates Canada being ruled according to Biblical law, told PressProgress his party’s values are squarely aligned with Throness as he seeks re-election in Chilliwack-Kent.
Throness is a socially conservative BC Liberal MLA who has been under fire in recent months for speaking in defense of conversion therapy and refusing to stop running taxpayer-funded ads in a socially conservative anti-LGBTQ magazine.
“We haven’t actually done a formal endorsement, but I do endorse Laurie Throness,” Taylor told PressProgress. “I think he’s the best MLA in the last legislature.”
“Really appreciate the principle stand he’s taken on a number of issues, we agree with him on almost everything, except he should running for our party instead of the BC Liberals,” Taylor said. “We do wish him well and hope he gets elected.”
“He has been the light in the darkness as far as we’re concerned.”
Throness and Taylor both attended an anti-abortion rally in Victoria last year where the two men were photographed together.
The CHP believes in “upholding law and order in accordance with Biblical principles,” and calls for the criminalization of abortion and a suspension of same-sex marriage. It also strongly opposes SOGI 123, an educational program designed to counter anti-LGBTQ bullying in BC schools.
The CHP’s provincial-wing in BC is currently led by anti-LGBTQ televangelist Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson. The party is fielding five candidates in the upcoming provincial election, but will not stand a candidate in Throness’ riding.
Taylor said the CHP has been busy preparing for the election, but he hopes to see his party’s members in Chilliwack rally in support of the BC Liberal candidate.
“I’m sure he could use help in this campaign,” Taylor said.
“If we have anyone who is in the Chilliwack area, we would certainly encourage them to vote for Mr. Throness, and if they have time and ability to help with contributions or volunteering work, we would think that’s a noble cause.”
Taylor, who is carrying the CHP’s banner in the riding of Stikine, said that if his party manages to win a seat, he hopes to collaborate with Throness in the BC Legislature.
“I think we agree on so many things,” Taylor said. “We would certainly do everything within our power to work together on the things that we agree on.”
In June, PressProgress was first to report Throness and more than dozen other MLAs for the BC Liberals had been using taxpayer dollars to place ads in a Christian lifestyle magazine called The Light. A number of ads ran alongside the magazine’s anti-LGBTQ content.
While BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson promised his caucus would stop buying ads in the magazine, Throness doubled down and expressed support for conversion therapy, leading to calls for his ejection from the Liberal Caucus.
Taylor said his party reached out to Throness at the time to offer support.
“I did reach out to let him know that I stood behind him in that battle,” Taylor explained. “We just placed ads in The Light ourselves.”
Taylor said he believes “conversion therapy” is a “vague term,” and that a proposed federal ban on the pseudo-scientific practice might “inhibit the ability of a parent to speak to their child about gender issues.”
“We share a concern that SOGI-123 is taking young people in British Columbia down a dangerous path,” he added.
Taylor compared Throness to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
“The courage that it takes to stand when the world has gone against you is so rare,” Taylor said. “We should all look up to people like that, encourage them. Because if everyone bows down to the onslaught of political correctness, our society would go rapidly down the abyss.”
“My dad marched with Martin Luther King back in the day,” Taylor said. “In that day it was unpopular in some parts of this continent, so I do appreciate those who stand up for their beliefs and I will continue to speak highly of Mr. Throness as long as he continues to take the courageous stands that he has taken.”
Throness’ campaign did not respond to a request for comment from PressProgress.