Fred Nile retires from the NSW Legislative Council after decades of oppressing the LGBTQI+ community, but don’t break out the bubbles yet because Lyle Shelton is stepping into the void.
Christian Democratic Party Founder, Reverend Fred Nile MLC announced via press release on Sunday night, that after 40 years in the NSW Parliament, he was retiring from the Legislative Council in November this year.
Nile has recommended to the Christian Democratic Party State Board and it unanimously agreed that Lyle Shelton, the former Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby who apparently lives in Queensland, will be his successor subject to the approval of the CDP’s State Council.
“It has been the privilege of my life to represent Christ’s values in the NSW Parliament on behalf of the Citizens of this great State.”
“I am delighted to be recommending Lyle Shelton as my successor and I am confident this news will be received with great enthusiasm by our Members.
“The need for unashamedly Christian voices in public life has only increased in recent years and I can think of no one better than Mr Shelton to carry this forward,” Rev Nile said.
Shelton steps up
Shelton welcomed the endorsement and said: “I am honoured that Rev Nile and the CDP State Board have recommended that I succeed him in the NSW Parliament and lead the party into the future. I look forward to seeking the support of the party’s State Council. There has never been a greater need for Christian ethics and principles in our parliaments.”
A privilege & honour to be asked to succeed the Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC. He has been a courageous & often lone voice for Christ’s values in Australian politics over 40 years. Never before has the Christian voice been more needed in public life. #nswpol https://t.co/gdmPT4qFcx pic.twitter.com/qAQKo0PFRX
— Lyle Shelton (@LyleShelton) April 11, 2021
Lyle Shelton, really not much better for us
And while Nile retiring seems like good news on the face of it, Nile’s replacement, Lyle Shelton could possibly be worse given that he is considerably younger than Nile and has already been at the forefront of the fight against LGBTQI+ rights and visibility for years.
He doesn’t love drag queens
Shelton is currently being taken to court by two Brisbane drag performers, after he wrote about how the Drag Queen Story Time event at Brisbane Square Library in January last year, and the performers themselves were “dangerous”.
The two performers want $10,000 each in compensation and a public apology from Shelton and are being represented by the LGBTI Legal Service in the complaint before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
In a quote from a blog post from his website dated March 24, 2021 talking about the two performers, Shelton wrote that they were “dangerous role models for children.”
Or Safe Schools…
Lyle Shelton was a vocal opponent of the Safe Schools program, writing in a blog post in 2016, which has now been deleted but which was reported on at the time by the Sydney Morning Herald,
“That Labor leader Bill Shorten can promise during an election to fund the so-called ‘Safe Schools’ program which teaches children as young as four that ‘only you can know if you are a boy or a girl – no one can tell you’ and there be so little push back is a failure of those of us who know better,” Shelton wrote.
But Conversion therapy is A-ok!
Shelton also spends a great deal of time railing against the banning of conversion therapy practices, saying to BuzzFeed in 2017 “I think anyone who wants to seek help for any issue they might be facing in their life should be free to do that,”
“Should people be forced to go to conversion therapy? No, absolutely not.”
“Now, children — they are under the care and responsibility of their parents, so I think if someone’s a minor, it is up to their parents.
“And I think parental rights should be respected.”
And then that pesky marriage equality “Yes” vote
And of course, he was also one of the main protagonists in the marriage equality debate, fighting hard for the “No” vote, even to this day featuring a pinned tweet on his Twitter feed railing against the supposed dire consequences of the Yes result, saying we “would not stop with redefining marriage. We said freedoms would be next along with indoctrinating children.”
During the same-sex marriage debate, we said the 🏳️🌈 political movement would not stop with redefining marriage. We said freedoms would be next along with indoctrinating children. Few believed us, the 🏳️🌈 activists said we were lying. Three years on, a former Deputy PM tweeted. https://t.co/dAzMfr1jBL
— Lyle Shelton (@LyleShelton) December 14, 2020
Fred Nile was elected to the NSW Legislative Council in 1981 and is the longest serving current sitting member of the Parliament.
Nile has long been a vocal opponent of LGBTQI rights. He has tried to prevent same-sex couples from adopting children and has referred to homosexuality as a “life choice” on an episode on Q+A in 2013. He confirmed how outdated his views and prejudices play against the fresh air of liberation offered up by our LGBTQI kin on an episode on Q+A a couple of years later on the Q&A Special: Between a Frock and a Hard Place.
And very maturely, he likes to pray for rain during the Mardi Gras celebrations, but as reported by Crikey in 2017, the good Rev. must have a dodgy connection because “data from the Bureau of Meteorology suggests that Nile’s prayers almost always go unanswered. A total of 26 out of 37 of the dates for the Mardi Gras parade, dating back to the initial protest march in 1978 (before Nile began his prayers), were either rain-free or close to completely dry.”
Fred Nile retires but you’ll still hear him
Even though the Reverend is officially retiring and making way for Lyle Shelton to step up, he will still be heavily involved in the Party as Immediate Past President, Honorary Chairman of the Board and Editor and Chief of the Party Newspaper, Family World News and email Newsletter Salt and Light.
Lyle Shelton (currently based in Brisbane) is being parachuted into the NSW upper house to replace Fred Nile. Comes after an unsuccessful 2019 Senate run in Cory Bernardi’s Conservatives party + a recent stint with QLD LNP
3 parties in 2 years, and finally into political office pic.twitter.com/CaNBK0U8hw
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) April 11, 2021
However as reported by the Star Observer in October 2020 via reporting from the Sydney Morning Herald, all may not be well behind the scenes at the CDP with the treasurer of the party, Charles Knox, taking legal action taken against Nile as well as his wife Silvana, Annie Wright, Mark Moody-Basedow and the Christian Democratic Party itself, accusing those individuals of using over $100,000 in party funds for their own benefit.