I haven’t decided yet whether Stephen Harper ordering Ontario Canadian Alliance backbencher Cheryl Gallant to apologize for uttering an allegedly anti-gay comment in the House of Commons is an adroit bit of brushfire quenching, or an uncourageous capitulation to political-correctness bullying. Perhaps a bit of both.

However, the media and special-pleader tempest in a teapot over Gallant’s indiscretion is fair warning that the knives are out, and Harper can expect nothing but sniping and backbiting from Canada’s lib-left chattering class establishment in his quest to take up residence at 24 Sussex Drive.

Gallant reportedly heckled Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham during Question Period on April 10 with a taunt that has been variously reported as “ask your boyfriend” or “how’s your boyfriend?” Whatever she said, it was neither heard by the speaker nor entered into Hansard, although the Canadian Press reported that she “shouted” the remark, which makes you wonder how come it wasn’t more widely and clearly heard.

Whatever. The homosexualist advocacy lobby group EGALE and their leftist fellow-travellers at the Jewish human rights lobby group B’nai B’rith sprang into action, denouncing Gallant and accusing Harper of a “failure of leadership.” The left/liberal dominated media dutifully climbed aboard the bandwagon, with both television and print news giving the “story” major coverage.

The whole thing has been blown out of any rational proportion. MPs from both sides of the House routinely heckle each other with uncomplimentary banter during Question Period, and the only reason this particular instance is being singled out is that:

a) whatever Gallant may have said has been summarily seen as politically incorrect, and

b) she’s an Alliance member so it provided a pretext for some opportunistic Harper/Alliance bashing.

Bill Graham is married with children, and I’ve never heard anything about his having an alternative lifestyle on the side. Perhaps Gallant knows something I don’t. Or perhaps she was just gratuitously insulting Graham. (Not as if nasty personal innuendo never issues from the Liberal side of the House.)

The real, underlying issue in this brouhaha is the gay advocacy/human-rights lobbies’ agenda to inhibit freedom of speech, and to make even veiled and ambiguous negative references to homosexualism taboo and subject to censure.

The fact is that a substantial number of Canadian Alliance MPs, as well as an even larger percentage of Alliance supporters, believe that homosexual activity is morally disordered, as does a substantial proportion of the general population (32.1 per cent of respondents to a recent Leger Marketing poll called homosexuality a “moral evil”), some Tory and Liberal MPs, the Roman Catholic Church and all other conservative/traditional Christian denominations, as well as traditionalist Jews and Muslims.

However, the assertion of EGALE, B’nai B’rith, the NDP, and the rest of the political correctness mafia is that the moral convictions of one-third of the population on this issue are discountable, disreputable, and publicly unspeakable, and the fact that a sizable proportion of Canadian Alliance members represent these convictions is glommed onto as a political stick to beat the party and its leader with.