Christian groups in Australia have spoken-out against new prime minister Kevin Rudd's support for gay marriage, saying it could lose him the up-coming general election.
Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton said that Christian people will 'take a dim view of [Rudd's] jettisoning of high principle'.
Rudd, a practicing Anglican, changed his public stance towards gay marriage six weeks ago.
In a threat to Rudd about his support for marriage equality, Shelton released a statement saying:
'There would be many people in the Christian constituency who would have seen Kevin Rudd for many years holding press conferences outside church, defending marriage, then suddenly change his mind because of the whims of pop culture...
'For someone like Kevin Rudd who has courted the Christian constituency to then really betray that constituency on an issue that's very dear to a large proportion of that constituency, I think is a political mistake.'
Chris Meney from another Christian group, the Catholic Life, Marriage and Family Centre in Sydney, also said that Rudd's change in position could lose him votes.
'I think there's always a potential for people to be rather dismayed when a person has a particular view that's keeping with the timeless wisdom and understanding of an important social institution of marriage and then all of a sudden walks away from it,' said Meney, The Australian reports.
'I think it does raise a question about how many other things will they walk away from and turn over. I think that's a very likely consideration for people when they're casting their vote.'