The sign for the gender-neutral bathrooms on the 5th floor of Boston City Hall across from the reception area for the Mayor's office, May 15, 2016. (Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)The New Democrats said Tuesday they were looking for Pallister to follow through on this and other statements he has made since being elected April 19. "One's words should be substantiated by actions," interim NDP leader Flor Marcelino said. Pallister has faced accusations of being opposed to gay and lesbian rights since he took over the Tory leadership in 2012, focusing mainly on his time as a member of Parliament for the Canadian Alliance and the Conservatives. In a 2005 House of Commons debate on same-sex marriage, Pallister called the idea a social experiment that would abolish the "societal norm" of children being loved by a mother and father. He also said it was good that gays and lesbians were coming out of the closet — a term for going public — because Christians would need the closets.
During this year's election campaign, then NDP leader Greg Selinger accused Pallister of being "homophobic." Another New Democrat accused Pallister in 2014 of having an "anti-women, anti-gay" agenda, partly because the Conservatives had nominated a candidate who had been a director of a lobby group opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage. Pallister has said his position on same-sex marriage evolved over the years. On Tuesday, he said while he is a fiscal conservative, he is not ideological on most matters. "The beauty of politics is over the years you get more in touch with what your values are because you have to deal with a myriad number of issues," he said. "Ideologies don't really work for me. I tend to be an outcomes person." The New Democrats introduced a petition in the legislature calling for at least one gender-neutral bathroom in all government buildings. Pallister said that idea would need more study, given the variety of buildings the government operates.
"The beauty of politics is over the years you get more in touch with what your values are because you have to deal with a myriad number of issues."
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