19-Year-Old Lawmaker Is Only Opposition To Canadian Law Protecting LGBT Families

Sam Oosterhoff says he understands the burden of being a parent because he was once a camp counsellor.

A measure passed by Ontario’s provincial parliament puts same-sex parents on equal footing as their opposite-sex counterparts. But 19-year-old Sam Oosterhoff, the youngest MPP in Ontario history, says the law is “a horrible piece of legislation.”


Oosterhoff, who was sworn in this morning, told the Toronto Star that he “would definitely not have supported” the All Families Are Equal Act, which changes “mother” and “father” on birth certificates and other legal documents to “parent.”

The Star explains:

It means same-sex parents will no longer have to go to court — spending thousands — to get legal recognition, allowing them to register births in the same way heterosexual couples do. The new legislation also means a birth parent can enter into a parenting agreement with up to three others before a child is conceived.

But Oosterhoff, a member of the Progressive Conservative party representing Niagara-West Glanbrook, claims the law could lead to guardians fighting it out for custody. “I think it just goes to show how out of touch they are with people,” he said.

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Dana Kopel

The bill passed unanimously 79-0, though dissenters did not show up for the vote.

Osterhoof reportedly believes same-sex marriage and abortion should be outlawed in Canada. Asked if he supported same-sex families, he said it was important that “all parents” be respected.

“I was a counsellor at camp . . . I had four kids I was taking care of—man, I was beat, like I was so tired… Anyone who takes it upon themselves to be a parent should be commended because it’s a sacrificial job.”

Because summer camp is just like raising a child.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.