Prime Minister Julia Gillard will be the keynote political speaker at the Australian Christian Lobby’s (ACL) 2012 National Conference.
The ACL announced her appearance at the October event in Canberra on their website yesterday.
Other featured speakers include Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Professor Greg Craven and ACL’s managing director Jim Wallace.
Wallace has previously compared the marriage equality campaign to Nazi propaganda and famously tweeted on ANZAC Day last year that the Australia that servicemen and women fought for “wasn’t gay marriage and Islamic”.
Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich said the PM had never spoken at a gay and lesbian community event, including the Rainbow Labor events.
“Between January and June this year the ACL made over 120 statements condemning equality for gay Australians and said virtually nothing about poverty or homelessness, with some of its statements linking gay equality with the stolen generation, Nazis and paedophiles,” he said.
“The ACL is an unrepresentative, anti-gay group which it is completely inappropriate for the leader of our nation to endorse in this way.
“Gay and lesbian Australians and our families want a Prime Minister who shows us equal respect and does not legitimise hate, and at the moment Julia Gillard is not that Prime Minister.”
A spokesperson for the PM told the Star Observer the PM had addressed the ACL on several occasions in the past, and would continue to do so.
“The Prime Minister speaks at many events, and of course none of those attendances should be taken as endorsement of all of the views of everyone involved in every one of those organisations,” the spokesman said.
Last week. the ACL warned Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings that her decision to press ahead with same-sex marriage could lead to future apologies to children who “have no say in being separated from their biological parents”.
“Are we not learning from the mistakes of the past – situations like the forced adoptions and stolen generation – where children are taken from their biological parents and raised by someone else?” ACL Tasmania director Mark Brown said.
“In 20 or 30 years, we will have a generation who will say, `who made the decision I should never have had a mother or father?’”
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras chair Pete Urmson today invited the PM to next year’s Sydney Mardi Gras following the news she was attending the ACL National Conference.
“Last year Barry O’Farrel [sic], Liberal Premier of NSW, the first Premier in our history attended the Parade,” Urmson said in the email to her office.
“Anthony Albanesse also attended. We respectfully now extend a second time to you to attend in the coming year which is an historic year. We celebrate our 35th Anniversary next year.”
He said it would be fitting for the PM to attend considering the size of the event including more than 2,000 volunteers and 300,000 spectators.