The Liberal Party has pulled out of a preference deal in with a candidate from the anti-gay Christian Democratic Party (CDP) in a key marginal seat following homophobic comments by the candidate at a public forum.
At the forum last week in the western Sydney seat of Lindsay, CDP candidate and church pastor Andrew Green (pictured) surprised the public audience by claiming gay men have a “lower life span” than heterosexual men.
The NSW Liberal Party has stated it will “amend” the preference deal with the CDP after being alerted to Green’s comments, changing their how to vote cards in the seat.
Green has since reiterated his statement, saying he was aware the comment was “inflammatory”, but was unable to verify the claim when asked.
“I read that along the way—they [gay men] have a lower life span,” he told News Limited, saying he is not homophobic because he has three gay cousins.
“I will treat everyone with respect. The inference I was drawing from that is that it’s an unhealthy lifestyle.”
Green has also attracted widespread criticism over his claims immigration levels could be lowered if abortion numbers were reduced.
Held by Labor’s Minister for Consumer Affairs David Bradbury, the seat of Lindsay is being contested by Liberal candidate Fiona Scott, whose shot at election has been damaged by the scrapped preference deal.
Scott made headlines earlier this month when Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said she had “sex appeal”.