Gay Australian conservative journalist and speech writer dies aged 61
Christopher Pearson, columnist for The Australian and speech writer for Australia's conservative former Prime Minister John Howard, has died aged 61.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott paid tribute to Pearson saying he was one of Australia's 'finest conservative intellects' and a 'steadfast' friend.
'I valued Christopher's counsel and his wisdom,' Abbott said, Sydney Morning Herald reports.
'I suspect he never fully appreciated the impact he had on others and the sense of gratitude we have for him. Australia will miss him.'
In a column for The Australian in 2009, Pearson wrote about reconciling his homosexuality with his Catholic faith. He converted to Catholicism in 1999 after being raised an Anglican.
'I could never have been happy as a gay Christian - with or without a rainbow sash - because it always seemed to me a contradiction in terms,' Pearson wrote, adding that he 'reluctantly concluded that St Paul was right about homosexual sex'.
Pearson was a vocal opponent to gay marriage. He wrote in his column for The Australian in 2010 that arguments in support of same-sex marriage are shallow and that the Australian Greens party's 'line' that all loving couples deserve to be treated equally is 'specious'.
National director of Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome said to Gay Star News:
'Christopher Pearson was profoundly wrong about homosexuality, faith, family and marriage. Homosexuals are not "wallflowers at the great dance of the generations", as he once wrote. Our destiny is to be fully integrated into our families and communities. But his strong views did some good, inspiring me and others to hone our case for equality and inclusion.'