Days after former prime minister and perennial shit-stirrer Tony Abbott delivered a climate science-denying speech in London, it’s been revealed he will once again jet off to deliver a speech to an international right-wing organisation: this time, his audience will be America’s Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), whose representatives have previously advocated for the recriminalisation of homosexuality.
The Australian Financial Review has revealed the Member for Warringah will appear before the Christian organisation later this month. It will be the second time he has addressed the ADF; last year, he advocated in favour of the ‘traditional’ definition of marriage, saying “we can’t be indifferent to the erosion of family given its consequences for the wider community.”
Abbott’s spokesperson told the AFR the backbencher is free to express his “well-known position that advocates for same sex marriage must demonstrate how – in their brave new world – freedom of speech, freedom of religion and parental choice will be protected.”
The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which characterises the ADF as a designated hate group for its stance, notes ADF-linked attorney Charles LiMandri’s 2015 comment that “government mandated recognition of same-sex ‘marriage’” has “led to a deification of deviant sexual practices”.
Abbott’s camp also clarified that he’d be travelling on his own dime, and would be declared to parliament to keep things above board.
The ADF is perhaps best known for its legal support of Jack Phillips, the cake decorator locked in Supreme Court dispute over his ability to turn down customers seeking a cake for their same-sex wedding.
As Australia’s ‘No’ campaign formulates its plan of action in the likely event of a ‘Yes’ victory, that kind of tactical and ideological knowledge could come in handy for one of the nation’s most notable same-sex marriage opponents.
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