Vocal “No” campaigner and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott will give a lecture to an American organisation that has supported the re-criminalisation of homosexuality.
The Christian group, known as the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), has scheduled Abbott to speak to the group about his opposition to marriage equality, the Australian Financial Review has reported.
The ADF has also defended state-sanctioned sterilisation of trans people abroad and applauded India’s 2013 ruling re-criminalising gay sex with an up to 10 year prison term.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre, American civil rights advocacy group, has designated the ADF an “anti-LGBTI hate group”.
A spokesperson for Abbott said, “Mr Abbott is honoured to have been invited by the ADF to reiterate his well-known position that advocates for same sex marriage must demonstrate how – in their brave new world – freedom of speech, freedom of religion and parental choice will be protected.”
The trip is reportedly being paid for with private funding and will be declared “in the usual way”.
According to its website, the ADF believes “legal system, which was built on a moral and Christian foundation, had been steadily moving against religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family,” mirroring the rhetoric used by Abbott to advocate for a No vote.
The ADF is currently defending a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding in 2012.
Former South Australian Greens Senator Robert Simms condemned the speech last year, saying “Legitimising hate speech that ruins people’s lives.”
“By sharing the rostrum with these bigots and homophobes, Mr Abbott is legitimising their hateful agenda.”