Queensland doctor David van Gend, who believes homosexuality is “disordered behaviour” and “potentially treatable”, may win Liberal National party preselection in a federal seat.
The sitting member, federal Coalition MP John McVeigh, resigned last month. Now voters in the federal electorate of Groom, in Toowoomba, will go to the polls for a byelection on November 28.
And this Sunday (October 25), Queensland LNP party members will pick their candidate. Toowoomba GP Dr David van Gend is one of seven vying for preselection.
The Guardian has reported the LNP’s “increasingly influential ‘Christian soldiers’ faction” have backed Dr van Gend. He may have enough votes to win the internal party vote this Sunday.
“Senior LNP officials are understood to be alarmed at the prospect of the party publicly endorsing such a controversial figure six days before the Queensland [state election],” the Guardian reported.
“It is understood party officials are seriously concerned the final week of the state campaign could be dominated by accusations the party has fallen captive to zealots.”
Dr van Gend previously ran for preselection in the seat in 2016. However that year, he lost to John McVeigh in a reportedly close race.
David van Gend believes homosexuality ‘disordered’ and ‘potentially treatable’
Dr David van Gend was a prominent “no” campaigner with the Coalition for Marriage group.
During the 2017 campaign, he came under fire for calling homosexuality a “disordered form of behaviour”.
“Marriage equality is not ultimately about marriage, it is about sexual radicals getting the legal clout to push their values down society’s throat,” he said in 2016.
“We should not form public policy on marriage or sex-education based on the false view that homosexuality is normal.”
In 2011, he described homosexuality as a “potentially treatable psychological condition”.
He also claimed gay people can “achieve complete transformation to a heterosexual orientation.”
“A black person cannot stop being black, but a gay person can certainly stop being gay,” he said.
More recently he suggested transgender people suffer from “varieties of psychological disturbance”.
Addressing party members this month, Van Gend said in addition to COVID-19, Australia needs to recover from “the cultural sickness” brought about “by the long march of the left through our institutions.”
“There is no point in the LNP controlling the finances of our nation if Labor and the Greens control the minds of our kids,” he said.
Coalition Senators back Dr van Gend for preselection
Queensland LNP acting president Cynthia Hardy told Toowoomba’s Chronicle she would not comment on Mr van Gend’s views.
However Hardy said the party has vetted all of the candidates up for preselection. She said any of the seven “would represent Groom very well”.
“We’ve got seven fine candidates and nearly 600 party members in the Groom electorate,” she said.
“Members of our party generally select the right person to represent our seats and that’s what will happen.”
Coalition Senators Matt Canavan and Eric Abetz also endorsed Dr van Gend in a party booklet.
He also received rave reviews from right-wing media figures, including Sky News host Rowan Dean and News Corp columnist Miranda Devine.
“David is a happy warrior for all the right causes,” Devine said.
This is what @mirandadevine @rowandean and Matt Canavan had to say about @DavidvanGend in a candidate booklet passed around to LNP party members ahead of the Groom by-election. #auspol pic.twitter.com/0SJPAq4nEo
— Tobi Loftus (@tobiloftus) October 21, 2020
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