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Christian lobbyist sorry for gays, Islam tweet

CHRISTIAN lobbyist Jim Wallace has apologised after an "ill-timed" tweet declaring the Anzacs didn't fight for an Australia characterised by gay marriage or Islam. But his apology was directed at the Anzacs, not at gay people or Muslims.

The Australian Christian Lobby managing director and retired brigadier yesterday stood by the sentiments he expressed, amid a torrent of online criticism.

He said his comments had been seized upon "by everyone with an intention to discredit".

"I believe in and value Anzac Day and our veterans too much to have ever intended a slight on the day, and apologise unreservedly for having even tweeted the thought on this day. It was not my intent to see it used this way," Mr Wallace said.

He made the provocative tweet as he sat at home in Canberra beside his 96-year-old father watching the Anzac Day march on television. "Just hope that as we remember servicemen and women today we remember the Australia they fought for -- wasn't gay marriage and Islamic!" he wrote. Critics responded almost immediately. "What they fought for was freedom from prejudice and persecution. For all Australians!" said one. Another tweeted: "Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby should be ashamed, using Anzac Day to push a homophobic and racist agenda."

Mr Wallace said he had been reflecting with his father, a veteran of Tobruk and Milne Bay, on the changing nature of Australian society when he made the tweet.

"My ill-timed tweet was a comment on the nature of the Australia he had fought for, and the need to honour that in the way we preserve it into the future," he said.

Mr Wallace said he had nothing against gay people or Muslims but was making a statement about Australia's Judeo Christian heritage.