Australia’s Tony Abbott says anti-gay marriage movement ‘should continue’

The de facto leader of Australia’s anti-gay marriage campaign has said that that the movement should continue indefinitely.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has become the most prominent opponent of same-sex marriage in Australia as the country holds a public vote on whether to allow gay couples to marry.

Pollsters have projected that the public will give the green light to equal marriage, but Abbott has come under heavy criticism for whipping up homophobic sentiment in the country.

Duriing the campaign the ex-leader has lashed out at “transgender marriage” and “radical gay sex education”, demanded censorship of a Macklemore performance over gay anthem ‘Same Love’, and suggested it would be “best” for his gay sister’s children to be raised by a straight couple.

Speaking to an anti-LGBT lobbying group in the US this week, Abbott suggested that the movement galvanised by the marriage vote should continue long beyond the deadline this month.

Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott (Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

According to The Australian newspaper, Mr Abbott made a speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a listed anti-LGBT hate group.

Speaking about the ‘No’ campaign, he said: “Such robust characters, once activated, are unlikely to fade away; and could continue to make their presence felt, even after marriage is no longer an issue, because they’ve had the guts to campaign for a cause they believe in.

“With the leaders of both big political parties, 60 large businesses and most of the major sporting codes all coming out on the other side.. and no cabinet minister, not one in the centre-right government, prepared to campaign with them, they will understandably be wondering who and what might represent them in the years ahead.”

Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott (Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

He added: “Win, lose, or draw, though, starting from scratch two months ago, the campaign for marriage in my country has mobilised thousands of new activists; and created a network that could be deployed to defend Western civilisation more broadly and the Judeo-Christian ethic against all that’s been undermining it.

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