Liberals stand by candidate Gurpal Singh who linked same-sex couples to paedophilia

The Liberal Party is standing by a candidate who told SBS Punjabi's program in 2017 that paedophilia occurred more often in same-sex couples.

Gurpal Singh was active in the 'No' campaign during debate about same-sex marriage.

Gurpal Singh was active in the 'No' campaign during debate about same-sex marriage. Source: Liberal Party

The Liberal Party is resisting calls to dump one of its candidates who linked same-sex couples with paedophilia during an interview with SBS radio in the lead up to the plebiscite on marriage equality. 

Gurpal Singh campaigned against legalising same-sex marriage in 2017 and is now the Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Scullin.

Making the case against changing Australia's marriage laws to SBS Punjabi in October 2017, Mr Singh raised concerns about the children of same-sex marriages. 

"It has got very serious implications on the kids which we can't see now, but when these children grow up how they reconcile with that situation is beyond comprehension."

He later added: "I think it is also an issue of paedophilia - in these situations the occurrence can be high."

Gurpal Singh told SBS Punjabi that same-sex marriage would have consequences for children.
Source: SBS Punjabi

While several candidates from across the political spectrum have been dumped or forced to resign over offensive or inappropriate remarks, Mr Singh continues to enjoy the Liberal Party's backing.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated the views of candidates reflected on the leader of a party, as he criticised Bill Shorten for not disendorsing Luke Creasey sooner.  

"The standard you walk by is the standard you accept," Mr Morrison said.

But asked about Mr Singh's homophobic comments on Wednesday, Mr Morrison was satisfied the matter had been handled by the party organisation.

Scott Morrison says Mr Singh's case has been dealt with.
Source: AAP

Asked how it had been dealt with, Mr Morrison responded: "His candidacy has continued."

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told ABC Radio in Melbourne that the decision not to disendorse Mr Singh was taken a couple of weeks ago. 

Mr Frydenberg said Mr Singh did not hold those views now. 

"He apologised unreservedly for those comments," Mr Frydenberg said on Thursday. 

Labor's Andrew Giles holds the seat of Scullin by a margin of 17 per cent. 

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Published 9 May 2019 at 12:33pm, updated 9 May 2019 at 2:19pm
By Rosemary Bolger