Australian Christian Lobby leader says that ‘homophobia doesn’t exist much’ in the country

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

The Australian Christian marriage lobby have said that there is “hardly any homophobia in Australia,” during a press conference to hinder the same-sex marriage postal vote.

Addressing the crowd of journalists to apologise for hurtful historical remarks the Christian lobby had made about AIDS victims, ACL leader Lyle Shelton said that “homophobia doesn’t exist much” in the Oceanic country.

“I do know what homophobia is,” Shelton said to a Buzzfeed reporter.

anti gay marriage protestor

(PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

“I don’t think it exists in much in our country.”

“Maybe there are some people who have that, but I think the vast majority of people who are engaging in this debate, from our side, who are concerned, don’t bear any ill will or animosity towards their fellow Australians regarding their gender or sexuality,” the lobbyist added.

On the back of the new vilification law which protects those vilified by their sexuality, gender identity, intersex status, the ACL leader Lyle Shelton said that he is “not worried about these so-called safeguard laws.”

“I have no fear whatsoever with regard to any of the comments that I have made on public record,” Shelton said.

The bill, which could see violators become the victim of an injunction and penalties of up to $12,600, has been introduced to protect LGBT campaigners.

In spite of his assurances, the leader has not shied away from making controversial remarks in the past.

In 2013, the religious lobbyist remarked that there would be a new “stolen generation” in Australia as “the use of technology to sever a child from its biological parent in order that same sex couples could realise their desire to have children”.

In an IPSOS/Fairfax poll, it has been estimated that 65% of Australians will have taken part in the vote by its conclusion November 7, with 70% of voters supporting the right for gay Australians to marry.

Although Shelton conceded that he will accept the result regardless of the outcome, he said that he will “always believe the truth about marriage.”

“So there’s a lot at stake but I’ll always believe the truth about marriage win or lose,” he said.