Political leaders and gay rights advocates have condemned comments from a consultant psychologist and ACT election candidate who believes gay sex should be outlawed.
Independent candidate for Molonglo Philip Pocock (pictured) published his views on sexuality and marriage while answering an election questionnaire for the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.
In his response, Pocock wrote that governments should manage “distortions of sexuality” including masturbation, oral sex, sodomy and sex before marriage.
“Indeed I believe sodomy of man or woman should be regarded as a criminal offence and while people do not have the right to go ‘poofter bashing’… they should have the right to discriminate in terms of employment, accommodation etc [sic] as they do in dealing with drug addicts etc,” Pocock wrote.
“…homosexual unions not only deserve no special rights but must be seen as the destructive behaviours that should be actively discouraged.”
The former Liberal Party member also called for “rules” to regulate against extramarital sex, divorce and remarrying unless one partner died.
Both ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Liberal leader Zed Seselja have condemned the views.
Pocock told the Star Observer he believed his views were a “biological/natural law” issue rather than a religious one.
He said he had expected the Labor Party to oppose his views but challenged the Liberal Party.
“They are so happy to wave the Catholic flag but they run a mile when this issue comes up because they’re uncomfortable with it, I suppose, or they are too weak to deal with it,” he said.
Existing media reports have also attracted many critical comments online about his views which Pocock said he had expected.
“There’s a basic sort of insecurity with everyone about sexuality, it’s a primal thing so people do become entrenched about it and it’s hard for them to be neutral, they become emotionally reactive,” he said.
“They’re not surprising, to me it’s indicative of someone who is for whatever reason abusing themselves, they’re unlikely to have any hesitation in abusing someone else.
“All humans, including homosexuals, are intrinsically good.
“It’s the world we live in, it’s been going that way for 100 years and we’ll get to the stage where it will stop and swing back the other way for 100 years or so.”
NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby spokesman Justin Koonin said the candidate’s views were hardly worthy of serious debate.
“His comments – which also question the ability of non-Christian couples to give rational consent and call for the prohibition of sex before marriage – would no doubt be offensive to the vast majority of Australians,” he said.
“Mr Pocock does a great disservice to the majority of Australian Christians who support equality for LGBTI people.”
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) has distanced itself from the psychologist’s views and said Pocock was not a APS member.
The APS reiterated its support of full recognition of same-sex relationships for the mental health benefits associated with marriage.