NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair
OTTAWA - NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair lashed out at evangelical Christian groups Monday, accusing them of going "completely against" Canadian values and law with their beliefs about homosexuality.
Mulcair's anger spilled over when reporters asked about Crossroads Relief and Development - a group that's received $389,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to build wells and provide clean water to 11,000 people Uganda.
Crossroads has called homosexuality a sin, a belief the NDP connects to anti-gay violence in Uganda and a stalled Ugandan bill to prohibit gay rights promotion.
"We don't understand how the Conservatives can ... subsidize a group in Uganda whose views are identical to those of the Ugandan government," Mulcair said.
It's not clear how Mulcair drew that conclusion.
Crossroads' water project partner group in Africa, Victory Outreach Ministries, states on its website that while homosexuality is sinful, gays are "created in God's image, and we condemn the activities of those who are violent towards gays."
Don Hutchinson, with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said Mulcair should know the Supreme Court has ruled religious beliefs don't disqualify Canadians from engagement with government.
He adds that Canadian evangelicals have spent more than $535 million on development work overseas.
"When you work with organizations that function on the 'love your neighbour' principle, you get a better return on your dollar," he said.
CIDA has frozen another $156,000 in Crossroads funding until it can review the organization's work.
A government source told QMI Agency the review is to ensure Crossroads isn't denying aid to Ugandans based on sexual orientation.