Ex-gay James Parker tours regional WA for the ‘No’ campaign

Prominent ex-gay advocate James Parker is touring regional Western Australia arguing that same-sex couples should not be allowed to get married.

Parker, who campaigns against marriage equality and the Safe Schools anti-bullying program, recently appeared at churches in Geraldton and Kalgoorlie sharing his story of conversion from being in a monogamous same-sex relationship to finding happiness as a married man.

The West Australian reports that Parker spoke in Geraldton on Monday at  St George’s Anglican Church, Bluff Point and last week made an appearance in Kalgoorlie.

In his speeches Parker shares his story about happily living as a gay man, and being a prominent LGBTI activist in his native England, but after embracing religion he turned away from the ‘gay lifestyle’, married a woman and started a family.

The now heterosexual-activist previously conducted a speaking tour around Perth’s suburbs appearing with politician Peter Abetz, and sparked a controversy when he made outrageous comments about gay people on Christian radio station Sonshine FM98.5.

In a letter to The Australian earlier this month, Parker wrote that because he has had both same-sex and opposite sex relationships he’s able to share his experience that they are distinctly different.

Parker writes that he has many friends in the LGBTI community, who are strongly opposed to marriage equality and will be voting ‘no’ in the postal survey.

In a longer piece for Mercantornet, Parker says many LGBTI people are opposed to marriage equality because they have a respect for Australia’s ANZAC tradition.

“Few people realise that a significant percentage of Australia’s ‘out and proud’ gay men and women are quietly voting No.

“These true-blue Australians see that at its core this ballot is not about love, equality or discrimination but about every Australian’s present and future freedoms, especially those of children, safeguarded for us in bygone years through the untimely deaths of ANZACs.” Parker said.

Parker says many LGBTI Australians are strongly opposed to changing the marriage laws, but fear sharing their views because they’ll be “bashed”. The activist says lots of LGBTI people have joined the ‘No’ campaign and been embraced.

“Gay men and women engaged in the No campaign report finding a welcome, belonging and respect that they have searched for and never quite found within the LGBTI community.” Parker said.

Emma Gibbens from The Equality Campaign told The West Australian that Parker was entitled to his views and encouraged positive, respectful dialogue.

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