CANdo, a right-wing lobby group that opposes marriage equality and the carbon tax, will increase its lobbying efforts in the run-up to next year’s federal election.

Formed in 2010 by South Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, who was forced to resign as Tony Abbott’s Shadow Parliamentary Secretary in September after comparing same-sex marriage to bestiality, the group describes itself as a conservative answer to progressive lobby group GetUp.

A petition on the CANdo website demands “the federal government and the Parliament not to attempt to change the meaning of marriage in the Constitution as adopted by the people” without first taking the issue to a referendum.

CANdo counts controversial radio commentator Alan Jones and conservative businessman Hugh Morgan among its patrons.

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