The Labor party is reportedly launching an ad campaign on gay hookup app Grindr highlighting a Liberal candidate’s homophobic comments during the same-sex marriage debate.
Controversial Liberal candidate Gurpal Singh will appear in the ad, ABC News reported, after it emerged he linked homosexuality to paedophilia in a 2017 interview.
He suggested children raised by same-sex parents were at greater risk of sexual abuse, in an interview ahead of the marriage postal survey.
“Here we are doing something that is against nature,” Singh told SBS Radio.
“I think it is also an issue of paedophilia. In these situations the occurrence can be high.”
Singh “unreservedly” apologised for the remarks, which he acknowledged were “wrong”.
But has kept his job and the support of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, despite Morrison warning “the standard you walk by is the standard you accept” last week about a spate of other controversial candidates who were sacked last week.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also defended Singh, saying the Liberal party “doesn’t accept those comments and again, as I said, he has apologised.”
The Labor party attack ads featuring Mr Singh will launch tomorrow, the ABC reported, and will use Grindr location data to target voters in the inner-Melbourne seats of Macnamara, Higgins and Kooyong.
Labor will also release social media ads attacking another Victorian Liberal candidate, Gladys Liu, who in 2016 described LGBTIQ issues as “ridiculous rubbish”.
Liu was slammed for claiming at the time that Chinese-Australians believed same-sex marriage “is against normal practice” and had told her they don’t want the “next generation destroyed … by these sort of concepts of same-sex, transgender, intergender, crossgender and all this rubbish.”
Liu also campaigned against the anti-bullying Safe Schools program, calling for a stop to “stealing our children from our own culture and values”.
It’s not the first time a political party has purchased ads to target voters on Grindr, with some New South Wales state MPs advertising in 2015 and the Greens targeting inner Melbourne seats in 2016.
The federal election will be held on May 18.
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