An Australian Christian lawmaker who believes that marriage is only for procreation and that same-sex marriage comes from ‘the depths of hell’ has remarried at age 79 to a woman who is 55 – sparking claims of hypocrisy.
Member of the New South Wales (NSW) state Legislative Assembly and leader of the Christian Democratic Party the Rev. Fred Nile married Silvana Nero on Sunday at St Thomas’ Anglican Church in North Sydney.
Nile began dating Nero just four months after the death of his first wife Elaine Nile – also a long time campaigner against LGBTI rights in Australia – and two of his children did not attend the ceremony.
At least one of Nile’s children has said they are unhappy about how soon Nile began seeing Nero after the death of their mother.
With the defeat of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the NSW Parliament and the striking down of a law allowing same-sex couples to marry in the Australian Capital Territory by the High Court of Australia, Nile said he would celebrate those ‘victories’ with his wedding.
‘I’m very, very happy and I will be celebrating the victory at my own marriage in December, which we plan to be not just a celebration of our own marriage but a celebration of the institution of marriage,’ Nile said following the defeat of the NSW bill earlier this year.
In the lead up to the vote on the bill, Nile wrote to his supporters, saying ‘We must pray and seek Almighty God’s victory over this Bill which has originated in the depths of hell, as it is an attack on Almighty God’s Creative Purposes for the human race, that marriage can only be recognized as between a male and a female, a man and a woman, not between two men or two women.’
A group of protesters from the groups Community Action Against Homophobia and Rainbow Army held an action to highlight what they said was Nile’s hypocrisy at getting married at such an advanced age when he was denying same-sex couples the ability to wed on the basis that they couldn’t produce children.
‘Here’s a man, 70-something years old, marrying a woman of 55,’ Rainbow Army spokesperson Viva La Bang told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Are they really going to procreate? So if they can get married, why can’t we?’
For many years Nile and his Christian supporters had an annual tradition of attending the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in order to pray for rain.