Alberta premier mocked for his antimarriage stance
July 23 2003 11:00 PM ET
A group of Canadian gay and lesbian protesters kissed and fondled one another in front of Alberta premier Ralph Klein at his Klondike Days breakfast in Edmonton on Tuesday to mock him for the province's opposition to same-sex marriage. It was the second time in two weeks that the premier had been targeted at the public pancake breakfasts he hosts every summer during Edmonton's Klondike Days and the Calgary Stampede, the Canadian Press reports. Klein was hit in the face with a banana cream pie during another breakfast in Calgary on July 7. "We're showing the premier same-sex couples kissing," said Mike Hudema, 26, who organized the demonstration. "It's to show him that it's OK and all right and that there's nothing dirty about it.''
The display took place right after Klein started addressing a crowd of 6,000 gathered for free flapjacks and sausages on the Alberta legislature grounds. Six couples rushed to the stage and started kissing and groping each other. The incident barely fazed the premier, who ardently opposes Ottawa's push to legalize gay marriage. Klein's justice minister has suggested that the province won't process the registration papers of gay couples wanting to get married in Alberta. Marriage registration is a provincial responsibility.
The display, which continued throughout the premier's speech, drew jeers from the audience, but the entire crowd erupted into laughter when Klein thanked them. "Thanks also to the roster of talented people who have been keeping us all entertained, including those in front of us today,'' he said, smiling, to a roar of applause. "I've always said protest is the essence of democracy, and if they want to protest peacefully, then that's great," he said later.