Pallister Raises Concerns for Human Rights With Appointment of Socially Conservative Activist to Cabinet

The Pallister government has created concerns by appointing socially conservative MLA Andrew Micklefield to cabinet as the new government house leader, NDP MLA Wab Kinew said today.

“The Rossmere MLA has long made it clear he is against equal rights for LGBTTQ* Manitobans,” Kinew said. “He has gone so far as to say there is harm in same-sex marriage.”

As house leader, Micklefield will now be responsible for advancing the Pallister government’s agenda, which could include changes to education and social legislation that under the NDP protected the rights of minorities, Kinew noted.

“I’ve been called to account for some of my past words and have worked to make amends, so I know full well that people can change,” Kinew said. “I apologized, but more importantly, I’m working to become an ally of the LGBTTQ* community. Will Micklefield do the same?”

Micklefield has appeared before the federal Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Provincial Standing Committee on Human Resources to argue against same-sex marriage, Kinew noted.

Kinew urged the premier to assure Manitobans that Micklefield will not do anything to reduce equality for LGBTTQ* Manitobans, and will defend the rights of students to create GSAs in schools.

“The government has a duty to protect all Manitobans, including LGBTTQ* Manitobans,” Kinew said. “I ask the premier to put concerns to rest and guarantee the existing rights of all LGBTTQ* Manitobans.”