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A member of Alberta’s United Conservative Party is apologizing for making what he says was an unintentional comparison between the rainbow LGBTQ pride flag and swastikas in a speech this weekend.

John Carpay issued a statement Sunday evening, saying he wished to clarify the remarks he made at a conference organized by the conservative news outlet Rebel Media in Calgary the previous day.

In the statement, Carpay says he was discussing the nature of totalitarianism when he “referred in the same sentence” to the rainbow flag and the flags bearing Nazi and communist symbols.

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John Carpay is shown in Calgary in a 2012 file photo.Bill Graveland/The Canadian Press

In doing so, he says he “unintentionally drew a broad comparison” between them.

He says he meant to stress the need to defend fundamental rights such as free speech, and that slogans touting diversity and inclusion have been abused in ways that undermine those freedoms.

Carpay, a lawyer and president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, is behind a legal challenge to Alberta’s law on gay-straight alliances.

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