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Australian PM clarifies he does not believe gay people go to Hell

Australian PM clarifies he does not believe gay people go to Hell

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Photo: Facebook) LGBTI students

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been forced to clarify that he does not believe LGBTI people go to Hell.

Reporters asked the PM on Monday (13 May) if he believed gay people go to Hell. He instead dodged the question.

Opposition party leader Bill Shorten slammed Morrison, who said he should have immediately ruled out the idea.

What did he say?

Religion crept into the campaign as Morrison became embroiled in controversy.

In the final five-day stretch to voting day, a reporter asked the PM while on a campaign stop: ‘What’s your belief, do gay people go to Hell?’

Morrison replied ‘I support the law of the country, and I always don’t mix my religion with politics and my faith with politics.

‘It’s law, and I’m glad that the change has now been made and people can get on with their lives, that’s what I’m happy about.’

In a statement made today (14 May) the PM clarified his views. ‘I’m not running for the Pope, I’m running for the Prime Minister,’ he said.

‘No, I do not believe that [gay people go to Hell]. It was a desperate, cheap shot from Bill Shorten, who is looking to distract attention from his housing tax that will undermine the value of people’s homes.’

What did Bill Shorten say?

The PM came under fire for pivoting the question. He also refused to say whether his personal opposition to marriage equality had changed since lawmakers legalized it in 2017.

Morrison quickly found a foe in the form of Labor party leader Shorten, who openly slammed the PM.

Shorten admitted his surprise at reporters raising the issue. But he told reporters in Tasmania on Tuesday that he felt the PM’s response was not good enough.

‘I cannot believe that the prime minister has not immediately said that gay people will not go to Hell.’

Moreover, Shorten took the opportunity to re-affirm his own standing on the issue. ‘I don’t believe gay people, because they’re gay, will go to Hell. I don’t need a law to tell me that, I don’t believe it.

‘And I think if you want to be prime minister of Australia, you have got to be prime minister for all people.’

‘The nation has got to stop eating itself in this sort of madness of division and toxicity.’

Australian elections: 101

Australians will hit the polls this week to elect a new government. The dash to the ballot box will kick-off on 18 May.

Elections are quick, running only 38 days-long, and are held every three years for Australia’s lower house of Parliament, the House of Representatives. However, the law requires Australians to vote and authorities fine those who fail to do so.

Whichever party takes the helm of the country still have to contend with national challenges that are far larger than previous administrations.

Such as concerns over climate change, choosing to increase or decrease the cap on immigration, and allegations of election fraud in the election season in 2016.

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