A bill protecting the freedom of Albertans to opt out of teaching homosexual material or performing same-sex “marriages” ran out of time on May 8, as opposition members used stalling tactics to ensure it did not have a chance to pass.

The private member’s bill, the Protection of Fundamental Freedoms (Marriage) Statutes Amendment Act, offered protection to those who oppose homosexual activity. The bill would have amended the provincial Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act by forbidding sanctions against Albertans who express their freedom of conscience and religion by supporting or opposing same-sex “marriage.”

“It’s a sad day for democracy when the Liberals and NDPs won’t allow a debate on an issue this important,” the bill’s sponsor, Ted Morton, told the Canadian Press.

Although Morton had earlier criticized Premier Ralph Klein for failing to advocate for Bill 208, the premier spoke out in favour of the bill that day, saying it stemmed from existing government policy.

“I don’t want to be perceived as a gay-basher, because I’m not,” said Klein. “But I want to protect those who, on moral and religious grounds, don’t want to ‘marry’ a gay couple.”

Morton said he intends to revisit the bill during the coming leadership contest for Alberta’s Conservatives, in which he is expected to be a candidate.

“I’m predicting that Bill 208 will be back as a government bill next February,” he said. “I know I have the support of about three-quarters of caucus, plus the premier.”

This article originally appeared May 10 on LifeSiteNews.com and is reprinted with permission.