The chairman of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has told Australian public television that the fight over marriage equality represents a spiritual war and that supporters of marriage equality are supporting ‘evil’ and may be motivated by ‘the Devil.’
‘[Same-sex marriage is] against the kingdom of God by the Devil,’ ACL chairman Tony McLellan told ABC’s Lateline program.
‘The Devil doesn’t like God and doesn’t like everything God stands for. I would say that people who are trying to change the definition of marriage, which has its roots in Christianity, are obviously trying to deconstruct Christian’s views of what marriage should be. And they well may be motivated by the evil one to do that.’
The ACL has repeatedly called for ‘respectful debate’ in the issue but the Australian Marriage Equality campaign said that McLellan’s comments showed the far-right Christian group was unable to practice what they preach.
"The ACL has repeatedly called for supporters of marriage equality to show more respect to Christians who oppose reform, yet here it is slandering us by saying we’re “motivated by the Evil One”,’ Australian Marriage Equality national spokesman Rodney Croome said.
‘This comes on top of ACL representatives linking us to Nazis, paedophiles and the [Aboriginal] stolen generation.’
‘While it so blatantly fails to practice what it preaches, the ACL is without a shred of credibility.
‘Decent, respectful Christians on both sides of the marriage equality debate must take a stand against the ACL, its denigration of those it disagrees with, and its double standards.’
The ACL suffered a recent setback when Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard pulled out of a speaking engagement at the group’s national conference after its general manager and chief spokesman, Jim Wallace said being gay was more dangerous than smoking tobacco – something that many commentators have taken as a sign of the group’s waning political influence.