The Queensland Police Minister on Monday slammed anti-same sex marriage campaigner and former managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Lyle Shelton, after he boasted on social media about avoiding the police while on his “sneaky run” into Queensland. The police termed it a waste of its resources, while the police minister stopped short of calling Shelton an “idiot”.

Lyle Shelton in  2017 had led the damaging ‘No’ campaign against the same sex marriage national vote. Since 2017, Shelton has turned his attention to targeting the Safe Schools Program and advocating
for conversion practices to remain in settings across Australia.

On Saturday, he boasted to his 11,000+ social media followers that he had done “sneaky run across the border and back”; and “avoided the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] virus police”; in the process.

Queensland Police investigate

The social media backlash to Shelton’s tweet was strong. The following day Queensland Police
responded on Twitter, letting Shelton and the public know they “are aware of this tweet” and are
‘making further enquiries’.

The bravado didn’t last long and Shelton provided an update that the Queensland police had indeed “spoken” to him. He claimed that he had not violated any orders and had not visited a COVID hotspot in NSW.

 He explained that he was on a ‘jog’ from Coolangatta to Tweed Heads in NSW writing that “there were no checkpoints for joggers, walkers or lizards”. Shelton’s clarification about not visiting a COVID-19 hotspot was supposedly to explain why he was freely allowed to return to Queensland.

Queensland’s closed borders

Queensland had closed its borders to Greater Sydney on December 21. Currently, anyone entering  Queensland from New South Wales must complete a border declaration pass, declaring they have not been in Greater Sydney in the last 14 days, unless they are a Queensland resident, at which point they are forced to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.

Since Queensland shut its borders to the COVID-19 hotspot, a number of notices have been handed out, including to five Sydney residents who were fined more than $20,000 and forced into quarantine at their own expense after being discovered at a Surfers Paradise Resort.

Queensland Police Service commissioner Katarina Carroll confirmed that the police had spoken to Shelton and he did have the necessary permit to cross into Queensland.

“It was disappointing to see that tweet. When you see something like we need to put resources into it, which we have. He has been spoken to. He can cross the border … I understand he has a G pass. He thought it was funny, but it’s not. (Doing that) you’re taking away resources from other places,” said the commissioner.

 Police minister Mark Ryan went a step ahead. “There’s a saying: it’s better for people to think you’re an idiot than to open your mouth and confirm it. Maybe that’s an relevant application for Mr Shelton,” he said.

Campaign against marriage equality

It is not yet known if Shelton will be fined for any breach of Queensland border security rules.  Meanwhile, he continues to carry on his campaign against same sex marriages and the LGBTQI community. The pinned tweet on his  profile has him refer to claims the ‘No’ campaigners had made that the LGBTQI community “would not stop with redefining marriage. We said freedoms would be next along with indoctrinating children.”

Recently, two Brisbane-based drag performers had sued Shelton over alleged defamatory comments he had made over a Drag Queen Story Time event at the Brisbane City Council library.

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