The Alliance Defending Freedom, the huge Religious Right legal group that has been expanding its anti-gay, anti-choice work around the globe, is bringing former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the U.S. this week for a secretive meeting in New York, where he will talk about “the importance of family.” ADF, a sponsor of the World Congress of Families, sent an official to Australia last year to address the national conference of the Australian Christian Lobby.
Nick O’Malley, U.S. correspondent for Fairfax Media, asked ADF about Abbott’s visit:
A spokesman for the group told Fairfax Media in a statement that Mr. Abbott, who has “been a strong advocate for marriage and freedom throughout his career,” had “graciously agreed to address our private event.”
But the spokesman declined to explain the nature of the event, say where or when it was to be held, or say if Mr. Abbott was being paid for his attendance.
As prime minister, Abbott stubbornly blocked efforts to move marriage equality legislation forward. Australian media has reported that Abbott, who has announced his intention to run again in 2016, will be meeting with right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch while he is in New York. Abbott was removed from his post after members of his own party replaced him with a more moderate rival who supports marriage equality.
Last year, investigative reporters Sofia Resnick and Sharona Coutts of RH Reality Check noted that the website for ADF’s Blackstone Legal Fellowship stated that the “Alliance Defending Freedom seeks to recover the robust Christendomic theology of the 3rd, 4th and 5th century” — ah, the good old days. Robert George, intellectual leader of the anti-gay Religious Right, is on the fellowship’s advisory board.