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‘More common sense, less ideology’: Abbott should follow his own advice, says Robert Simms

‘More common sense, less ideology’: Abbott should follow his own advice, says Robert Simms

CREATED ON // Wednesday, 03 February 2016 Author // Glen Morét

Australian Greens Senator Robert Simms has called out Tony Abbott for addressing the US-based anti-gay group Alliance Defending Freedom. 

In a speech to the Senate, Simms said Abbott is no ordinary politician and he should think carefully about the actions he takes as a former prime minister. 

“He is considered an ambassador for our country. He should think very carefully about the causes with which he associates.”

The former Liberal leader flew to New York last month to address Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group that promotes family values and traditional marriage. In his speech, Abbott said that allowing same-sex couples to wed will contribute to “the erosion of family” and that “we shouldn’t try to change something without understanding it”.

On the subject of same-sex marriage, Abbott called more “common sense” and “less idealogy”. 

“We can’t shrink our responsibilities to the future, but let’s also respect and appreciate values and institutions that have stood the test of time and pass them on, undamaged, when that’s best,” Abbott said. 

Senator Simms said: “In the speech Mr Abbott gave to this hate group, he said that it’s time for common sense to prevail. ‘We need less ideology and more common sense’. Well if only he’d follow his own advice. 

“How many Australians would support the criminalisation of gay sex. My home state of South Australia abolished that 40 years ago last year, but that’s the kind of world this organisation wants to take us back to.” 

Simms said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs pull Abbott up on his actions. 

“On the topic of common sense, it’s time for Malcolm Turnbull to show some on this issue. He needs to call Tony Abbott out for his bigotry.” 

“Apparently, the ex-Prime Minister can just speak to whoever he wants and say whatever he wants. Mr Turnbull just shrugs his shoulders and says its’ Mr Abbott’s right as an MP? Well what about the rights of the LGBTI community? What about the impact this has on our national reputation?” He said. 


Robert Simms’ speech is available to view in full below


Glen Morét

Glen Morét

Glen Morét is a journalist at GayNewsNetwork.com.au and SX. Follow Glen on Twitter: @glen_moret

Comments (1)

  • Julia

    03 February 2016 at 18:58 |
    What exactly does more common sense mean in this context? I'll tell you what it means. NOTHING. The term common sense is largely vacuous in these contexts and is trotted out, more often than not by politicians and commentators on the right, to make positions, actions and decisions should more justifiable than they actually are, and in this case it's been used to exclude a minority from a social and legal benefit.

    I really didn't think Tony Abbott would go this far as to address a group as far right as the ADF. He was more reserved when he was Prime Minister, though the cal for a plebiscite on marriage equality was clearly a delaying tactic. I wonder if he's trying to maintain his presence among social conservatives and the right factions of the Liberal Party in the hope that he'll get another shot at the leadership.

    I personally believe whether he wholeheartedly accepts this nonsense and whether or not this pitch to ADF and other hard right positions he's taken, such as calling for boots on the ground in Syria aren't ways of undermining Malcolm Turnbull's leadership. It certainly forces Turnbull onto the back foot, allows the opposition and the Greens to take a swipe at Turnbull for not silencing him and makes the Liberals look more extreme in the eyes of more moderate swing voters. He ought to be careful - another swipe at the leadership by Abbott could end up handing the election to Bill Shorten - Which I'm sure conservatives fear. Once Malcolm Turnbull has won the election he'll be relatively free to pursue more progressive social policies like dumping the plebiscite. Can Mr. Turnbull finally rid Australia of this pro-traditional family nonsense. If he can he's got my vote.


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