CANBERRA, Australia (AP) | The leaders of both of Australia’s major political parties agreed on May 14 that gays don’t go to hell because of their sexual orientation, as Christian beliefs rose to extraordinary prominence in the final days of an election campaign.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison opposed same-sex marriage while opposition leader Bill Shorten argued for marriage equality ahead of a national vote in 2017 that led to Australia legally recognizing same-sex unions.
Morrison, a Pentecostal Christian, accused Shorten, a Catholic before converting to his second wife’s Anglican faith, of a “desperate, cheap shot” ahead of elections on May 18 by challenging the prime minister to say whether he believed gays went to hell.
Morrison said he did not believe gays went to hell, after failing to directly answer the same question from a journalist a day earlier.
“I’m not running for pope, I’m running for prime minister,” Morrison told reporters. “So … theological questions, you can leave at the door.”