Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott got a free trip to the US – thanks to an extreme group that lobbies against LGBT rights.
Mr Abbott, a strong opponent of LGBT rights, served as PM until September when he was ousted by his own party.
He attracted criticism last month when he headed to the US last month to address the radical lobbying group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that the ADF gay battled adoption rights, fought against LGBT people serving openly in the US military, and involved itself in litigation that would continue to criminalise sex between consenting gay or lesbian adults around the world. The group has allegedly pressured countries to keep their sodomy laws banning gay sex.
Despite this, Mr Abbott refused to cancel his plans, telling the group’s lobbyists: “We can’t be indifferent to the erosion of family given its consequences for the wider community.”
The politician, who remains a member of the Australian Parliament, updated his register his interests today – and it seems like the group paid for the entire trip for both him and his wife.
He wrote: “I wish to declare the following.
“Two return flights from Australia to the United States of America, provided by the Alliance Defending Freedom Organisation, and two upgraded seats on privately funded fares within the USA.
“On this trip, we also received the following hospitality: An upgrade to a privately funded hotel room in Washington DC.
“Please update my register accordingly.”
Mr Abbott’s pandering to the extreme right on the issue has not sat well with his sister – who is a lesbian, and wants to get married.
She said: “Marriage is good for our society. That’s why it’s better for all of us if more can be married.
“Allowing same sex couples to marry doesn’t damage the institution in any way. It honours it.”