I'm not anti-gay: Marsh

Sacked men's health ambassador Warwick Marsh is standing firm against criticism he was homophobic and promoted anti-gay views.The founder and CEO of the Wollongong-based Fatherhood Foundation was unceremoniously dumped yesterday morning by Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon just days after his appointment.Ms Roxon claimed she had made a mistake in appointing the 53-year-old father from Berkeley, saying it was inappropriate to have someone with such "offensive views" talking to men about their health. Mr Marsh was a co-author of a paper that suggested gay people were more likely to molest children than heterosexuals and that homosexuality was a mental disorder.When gay and lesbian groups protested to the minister about his appointment as a new men's health ambassador, Ms Roxon sacked Mr Marsh after he refused to repudiate the paper.Barry Williams, the president of the Lone Fathers Association, will continue in his role as an ambassador after publicly disassociating himself from the anti-gay views.Mr Marsh said yesterday he stood by the views contained in the paper titled 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters."I am not homophobic and I was prepared as a men's health ambassador to help all men, even the 1.6 per cent of Australian men who are homosexual," Mr Marsh said."However, I will not support or promote a homosexual lifestyle as a normal lifestyle. If I am attacked it is because I believe every child has the right to a mother and a father. Children need a mother and a father, not two mummies or two daddies."Mr Marsh said he was baffled why the matter of the 21 reasons paper was now being brought up."There are 34 co-authors of the paper, some of them very eminent people, and every member of Parliament received a copy in the lead-up to the last federal election. So did the members of the Canberra press gallery," he said.Mr Marsh said despite his sacking he respected Ms Roxon. "I applaud her and the Rudd government for their national men's policy because it has been a long time coming," he said.

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