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People Against Same Sex Marriage Are Not "Homophobes", Claims Howard

Howard hits back.

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Former prime minister John Howard says it's "absurd" to label people who are against same sex marriage as "homophobes".

Sky News Australia

Howard, who amended the Marriage Act in 2004 for marriage in Australia to be defined as between a man and a woman, is a long time opponent of same-sex marriage.

On Sunday, Howard blamed the rise of so-called “identity politics” for people opposed to same sex marriage being labelled “homophobes”.

Howard says it is 'absurd' to say if someone does not support same-sex marriage they are homophobic #auspol

I think it is a dangerous trend, I think the Labor party has embraced it far more. You see elements of it in the background of the debate around same sex marriage. The implication from many on the progressive side of politics is that if you don’t support same sex marriage you’re a homophobe, well that’s absurd. Sure there are homophobic people in our community, of course there are, as there are some racist people. There are a lot of people with a traditional view of some of these things and they’re not the least bit homophobic.

Labor leader Bill Shorten upset anti-same sex marriage MP Cory Bernardi earlier this year when he replied to his heckling, "at least I'm not a homophobe, mate".

Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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