Gay monarchist & Alan Jones unite with Cory Bernardi to campaign against gay marriage
In what may look like an unholy alliance to some, anti-gay Liberal firebrand Cory Bernardi has cloistered up with openly-gay monarchist David Flint and controversial radio host Alan Jones to head up a new right-wing lobby group styled on America’s Tea Party that will campaign against same-sex marriage and push for a return to corporal punishment ahead of next year’s federal election.
Meant to act as a conservative version of the successful campaigning group GetUp, CANdo will also lobby for tougher policies on immigration and asylum seekers.
An arch-monarchist and former chair of the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), Flint this week defended Bernardi’s comments equating same-sex marriage to bestiality during a Senate debate in September and said CANdo would seek a referendum on the issue.
“All he was saying was that if you open up marriage to a wider group, then there will be calls for more,” Flint told The Sunday Telegraph. “Perhaps that would be the next cab off the rank.”
On a video posted on CANdo’s website, Flint said any changes to the “traditional” definition of marriage as between a man and a woman should be decided by the public and not parliamentary debate.
“We say this is not a matter for the politicians, this is not a matter for the judges of the High Court who are very prone to decide that the Constitution means what they want it to mean, this is a matter for the people of Australia,” Flint says in the video.
“If they want to change the institution of marriage then it must be by way of a referendum.”
Public opinion polls for the past two or three years have consistently shown that almost two thirds of the Australian public support marriage equality.
Jones, a high rating and controversial breakfast host for Radio 2GB in Sydney, will act as patron for the newly formed lobby group.
Recently forced to apologise to Prime Minister Julia Gillard over remarks he made that her father “died of shame” after his talkback show suffered a backlash from the public and advertisers, Flint (pictured, right) claimed that the moves against Jones were an “overreaction”.
“I think it suited a lot of people,” Flint said. “At last we got him. They then proceeded to use it against him.”
It’s not the first time Flint, now a part-time law lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney, has taken to defending Jones.
In 2004, he was forced to resign as chair of the ABA after it was revealed he had sent a letter of support to Jones five years earlier at the same time he was supposed to be leading an inquiry into ‘Cash for Comment’ claims that would eventually drastically alter the commercial radio industry.
“Dear Alan,” Flint wrote in 1999 on ABA letterhead. “You have an extraordinary ability of capturing and enunciating the opinions of the majority on so many issues.
“This of course annoys those who have a different agenda. I suspect it is extremely irritating to them that you do it so well.”
When SX interviewed Jones (pictured, left) earlier this year and asked him about his thoughts on same-sex marriage, the normally verbose talkback host who has long been rumoured to be gay refused to open up on the issue.
“Well don’t ask me,” Jones told SX at the time.
“I’ll pass on that one. Someone’s giving me the wind-up here too, I don’t know why. But we’ll catch up somewhere hey?”