Liberal candidate for the 2021 Western Australia elections, Amanda Sue-Markham has found herself in trouble over her husband’s homophobic and anti-same-sex marriage views.

Amanda Sue-Markham is a Liberal candidate for the Victoria Park seat in the Western Australia State elections scheduled for March 13, 2021. She is married to Presbyterian Pastor Campbell Markham who has made homophobic statements in the past. 

Markham, a Pastor with the Presbetyrian Church had faced a complaint at the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission over his 2011 online blogs. Markham had stated that homosexuals could be “cleansed” of a “gay lifestyle” that he said was “distressingly dangerous and has appalling health risks.”

Liberal Candidate & Husband Had Opposed Marriage Equality

Equality Tasmania spokesperson and LGBTQI rights activist Rodney Croome pointed out that Amanda herself has held less than stellar views about marriage equality and women’s rights.

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Amanda, a former Christian Democrat, was reportedly a member of the ‘Save Marriage Coalition’, an anti-marriage equality Tasmanian group, and had previously attacked the Safe Schools Program that was meant to protect LGBTQI students from bullying.  She had also campaigned against liberalising Tasmania’s abortion laws. 

“I don’t believe Amanda-Sue Markham should be held responsible for her husband’s views, but she should be held responsible for her own actions,” Croome told Star Observer

“In Tasmania, Ms Markham was an activist and spokesperson against marriage equality, against legal terminations, against dying with dignity legislation and for the roll back of discrimination protections in the name of ‘religious freedom.’ The WA public deserves to know if she still holds these views and will she campaign as vigorously against LGBTIQ+ and other human rights as she did in Tasmania?” said Croome. 

WA Falling Behind On LGBTQI Law Reforms

Just-Equal Western Australia spokesperson Brian Greig said that the Liberal party endorsing someone who has held views against marriage equality has brought to light the issues facing the community in the state. 

“WA has fallen behind other states on a range of LGBTI legal reforms and this election is an opportunity to set things right for equality and inclusion,” Grieg said in a statement. 

Greig revealed that the organisation had written to all parties about their stand on six issues of importance to the LGBTQI community, but only the Greens had responded so far. The issues raised included banning conversion practices, stopping faith schools from throwing out LGBTQI students and teachers, introducing hate-speech laws, law reforms for the transgender and intersex communities, and funding inclusive education programs. 

“In light of the issues the Liberal party have raised through their candidate for Victoria Park – where do the major parties stand on LGBTI law reform?” Greig asked. 

Markham’s Homophobic & Sexist Views

Markham’s views surfaced after WA Liberal candidate Amanda was asked about it in a press conference on Friday. 

Markahm had reportedly in his 2015 book Who Should I Marry? said that a Christian man would only marry a woman who would submit to her husband. 

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In a personal blog post (that is no longer available) he had said that gay people can be “cleansed” and that people who watch pornography would go to hell. 

In another 2017 post on his blog, Campbell announced his resignation as a marriage celebrant after the Governor General signed changes to the Marriage Act that permitting same sex marriages,  into law.

“The Sacred Scriptures clearly delineate what sexual activity God has determined to be right and wrong.  Sexual intercourse was given by the Creator to one man and one woman joined in marriage. Fornication, adultery, prostitution, incest, and homosexual practice is forbidden as a misuse of our reproductive organs and sexual desires,” Cambell wrote. 

Another blog post had Campbell quoting Biblical verses in response to LGBTQI school posters. He quoted from the following Biblical passage: “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

WA Opposition Leader Endorses Liberal Candidate

At Friday’s press briefing, WA Liberal Opposition leader Zak Kirkup blocked the media from asking the questions directly to Amanda about her husband’s views about “having homosexuals cleansed and healed.” 

“Any comments made by third parties is for them to be responsible for. That is something that needs to be responded to by that individual,” Kirkup said. 

He later told ABC, “Are we going to hold candidates responsible for comments that other family members make? Is that the line we’re expected to draw here? I don’t support the comments at all, I don’t endorse the comments whatsoever, but the reality is that they were not made by the candidate that the Liberal Party is standing in Victoria Park at this election.”

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