Australian government senator to address ‘gay cure’ supporting evangelical group

A Senator from Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s party is addressing a group that supports ‘gay cure’ therapy.

Eric Abetz was until recently the Leader of the Government in the Senate, and remains a Senator for Tasmania.

The politician, who has been a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage and inclusive sex education, is set to address the final annual dinner of Christian evangelical group Salt Shakers, according to Buzzfeed,

The group is an active proponent of ‘gay cure’ therapy.

Its website says: “Counselling and support is available for those who want to leave the homosexual lifestyle or are struggling with same-sex attraction..

“A large number of international groups, many founded by former homosexuals, assist those who want help. See the Organisations list for contact details for those groups.”

It links to a number of extremist Christian gay cure groups, some of which claim to provide “complete freedom from homosexuality”.

But Abetz is apparently dead-set in addressing the group, who describe him as a “good friend”.

But LGBT rights groups say the Australian government should not be tolerating senior politicians interacting with ‘gay cure’ proponents.

Rodney Croome of Australian Marriage Equality told Buzzfeed that it could be a sign of things to come, as the issue of same-sex marriage is set to head to a controversial public vote.

He said: “The fact he has not been censured is a worrying sign about the extent to which gay hate speech will be tolerated during a plebiscite.”

Abetz has previously suggested that even if the public votes for equal marriage, he would try to vote it down in Parliament.

He added: “There will be people in the parliament who could not support the outcome of a plebiscite whichever way it went.”

His brother Peter Abetz is also a politician, and has compared same-sex parenting to stealing children from Aborigines.