A leading spokesperson for the No campaign has gone off script in a radio interview, calling homosexuality a “disordered form of behaviour” and relating it to Biblical tales of Sodom and Gomorrah.
“He seemed to be… apologising for the Bible, apologising for the Catholic catechism and basically saying that [homosexuality] is really not that bad, we shouldn’t be using words about homosexual behaviour like the traditional teaching that it’s a disordered form of behaviour,” van Gend said.
He said same-sex attraction doesn’t define a person and is different to gay “behaviour”.
“If someone has same-sex attraction that is just a curious part of their make-up, it is not who they are. And what’s more, being same-sex attracted carries absolutely no moral blame, it is no one’s fault, it is just one of these puzzling phenomena,” he said.
“Whereas by contrast sexual behaviour, for any of us, is a choice, and we are culpable for the sexual behaviour we might choose to do. And for Christian people it’s pretty darn simple—no sexual behaviour is on at all, and that’s for all of us, unless it is within the faithful unconditional commitment of man-woman marriage. End of story.”
Van Gend’s remarks diverge from the message of the No campaign, which has avoided discussing same-sex marriage or homosexuality, instead focusing on Safe Schools and other supposed consequences of marriage equality.
Another Coalition for Marriage spokesperson, Monica Doumit, said van Gend’s comments do not represent the organisation.
“I didn’t hear the interview, but I can confirm that the is not the position of the Coalition for Marriage,” she said.
“We will not be asking Dr van Gend to retract his comments. Like all Australians, he is entitled to hold and express views.”