Australian Liberal candidate quits after claiming there’s no discrimination against gays

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

An Australian Liberal candidate has resigned – after facing criticism for comments about equal marriage.

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull went campaigning this week in Fremantle, Western Australia, to drum up support for his Liberal party ahead of the Federal election on July 2.

He made several visits around the area… but mysteriously absent from the trip was Fremantle’s actual Liberal candidate, Sherry Sufi – who has compared same-sex marriage to polygamy.

In a 2013 article, Sufi claimed that attempting to “redefine” marriage constitutes a “a perfidious and futile attack on language”.

In the same article he said it was an “insult” to compare the LGBT rights movement to the struggle for civil rights, claimed it’s “disingenuous”  to suggest homophobia exists, and insisted that gay rights protests should have “ended gracefully in 2008” when the government granted some limited partnership rights.

He wrote: “The fact that gay marriage advocates continue to allege that Australian society remains imbued with rampant discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation despite the 2008 reforms is disingenuous. There is no simpler way to rebut this allegation than to pinpoint that ‘discrimination’ is actually differential treatment of different classes of the citizenry despite holding the same capabilities and qualities.”

Sufi also warned: “Redefining marriage comes with further implications. Doing so once on the basis of gender inevitably sets a precedent inviting the advocacy of further redefinition on the basis of quantity.

“Advocates of polygyny and polyandry could potentially seek to further redefine marriage chasing the same legal status as monogamous marriage”

“It makes no sense to obfuscate the nature of language by forcibly shoving every form of relationship under the one umbrella of ‘marriage’ regardless of gender composition and quantity of participants.”

In wake of media attention, Sufi has this week stepped aside as the party’s candidate.

He said: “I have taken the decision to resign my position as the Liberal Candidate for Fremantle at this Federal election. This is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have also resigned my post as chair of the Liberal’s Party’s Policy Committee. I am doing this in light of continued focus on events from my history.

“I apologise if my words and actions have caused offence to anyone. This was never my intent.

“I am disappointed that I will not be seeing this campaign through, but I am putting the interests of the Liberal Party first.

“I want to avoid further distraction from the good work being done by the Prime Minister and his Liberal team.”


Asked whether he agrees with Sufi’s views about gay people previously, the Australian PM would only say: “No.’’