Former Australian Christian Lobby director and high-profile “no” campaigner Lyle Shelton will run for a Queensland Senate seat at the next federal election.
Lyle Shelton quit as managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby in February to join the Australian Conservatives, after leading the unsuccessful “no” campaign in the marriage postal survey last year.
Shelton said in a statement that if elected, he would oppose “political correctness, gender ideology and social Marxism”.
“By working together, conservatives across our state can put a handbrake on the extreme elite ideologies that have infected Canberra,” he said.
Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi announced on Saturday that Shelton would head the party’s Queensland Senate ticket.
“Lyle brings a wealth of political and campaign experience having headed up the ‘no’ campaign last year that saw millions of Australians stand up against political correctness,” he said.
Shelton said in February that while campaigning in the postal survey he “felt very much drawn to the political side of things for the partisan side of politics” and he believes “that politics needs Christian influence from the inside and political parties need good people from the inside.”
After the successful “yes” vote Shelton vowed to keep fighting “for decades” to repeal marriage equality.
Shelton was criticised last year when he told BuzzFeed parents should have the option to send their children to dangerous “gay conversion” therapy, a practice widely condemned as harmful by peak counselling and psychotherapy bodies.
“I think anyone who wants to seek help for any issue they might be facing in their life should be free to do that,” Shelton said.
“Should people be forced to go to conversion therapy? No, absolutely not.
“Now, children — they are under the care and responsibility of their parents, so I think if someone’s a minor, it is up to their parents.
“And I think parental rights should be respected.”
Last year Shelton was forced to defend a 2016 Australian Christian Lobby blog post he wrote, denying he had drawn a comparison between what he called the “unthinkable” progress of LGBTIQ rights and the atrocities of the Nazi regime in Germany.
“Changing the definition of marriage to entrench motherless and fatherlessness in public policy and teaching our kids their gender is fluid should be opposed,” he wrote at the time.
“The cowardice and weakness of Australia’s ‘gatekeepers’ is causing unthinkable things to happen, just as unthinkable things happened in Germany in the 1930s.”