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Christian Lobby on notice over plebiscite

AAP logoAAP 12/09/2016 Jennifer Rajca

The Australian Christian Lobby has been put on notice about using public money to campaign against a controversial Safe Schools program during a national vote on same-sex marriage.

Responding to reports the federal government will approve $7.5 million each for the yes and no plebiscite campaigns, ACL managing director Lyle Shelton said it was necessary, but on the low side.

When asked what the organisation would use the money for, he said there has been a very one-dimensional debate about the love of two people.

"There's been very little discussion about the consequences, how this might flow into schools through programs like the Safe Schools program when you take gender out of marriage," Mr Shelton told ABC radio on Tuesday.

"(The money) will go towards airing the concerns of a whole range of consequences that flow from taking gender out of marriage."

Labor argues it would be a complete abuse if the lobby used the funding to campaign over the issue of Safe Schools.

"Safe Schools has nothing to do with the cause of marriage equality," shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus told reporters in Canberra.

"It would be an appalling abuse if ... the Australian Christian Lobby were to misuse funds provided for a plebiscite campaign to campaign on other political matters."

Government MP Andrew Laming imagined there would be strong requirements around how the money can be spent, like there was in the 1999 republic referendum.

"Obviously it will have to be related to the debate itself," he said.

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