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Liberal candidate Owen Mulder once claimed same-sex couples were a ‘direct violation of God’s law’

Jake Dietsch
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Owen Mulder was the sole preselection Liberal candidate for the State seat of Dawesville.
Owen Mulder was the sole preselection Liberal candidate for the State seat of Dawesville. Credit: Facebook/Facebook

The Liberal candidate running in what used to be a safe seat for the party believes same-sex relationships are a “direct violation of God’s law”.

Owen Mulder was the sole preselection Liberal candidate for the State seat of Dawesville.

It was once considered a blue-ribbon electorate for the conservatives, with former leader Zak Kirkup and former deputy premier Kim Hames holding the seat.

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Mr Kirkup lost the seat — which covers the southern suburbs of Mandurah — to Labor’s paramedic candidate Lisa Munday at the Mark McGowan 2021 whitewash election that left the Liberals he was leading with just two lower house MPs.

Former Liberal leader and Dawesville MP from 2017 to 2021 Zak Kirkup.
Former Liberal leader and Dawesville MP from 2017 to 2021 Zak Kirkup. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian
Labor’s Lisa Munday won the seat in 2021.
Labor’s Lisa Munday won the seat in 2021. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

In 2008, the Rudd Government legislated to give same-sex couples the same rights as married couples to leave their superannuation entitlements to their partner or children.

At the time, openly gay Labor Senator Penny Wong said the Same-Sex Relationship Bill — enacted years before gay marriage was legalised — would give same-sex couples “equality . . . never previously experienced”.

The West can now reveal that Mr Mulder and his wife wrote to a parliamentary committee considering the bill and urged “strong opposition”.

“Marriage is, and must continue to be the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life,” their submission read.

“The above bill compromises this position, by seeking to give same-sex couples almost all the rights and benefits of marriage.”

Openly gay Labor Senator Penny Wong, pictured in 2008, celebrated the passage of the Same-Sex Relationship Bill.
Openly gay Labor Senator Penny Wong, pictured in 2008, celebrated the passage of the Same-Sex Relationship Bill. Credit: Barry Baker/WA News

The Mulders wrote that the bill “neglected” that “marriage has been instituted by God, and must be recognised and honoured in society”.

“Same-sex couple (sic) on the other hand is a direct violation of God’s law, which whether we acknowledge it or not, we are all subject to (and will eventually be required to give account to),” they wrote.

Mr Mulder campaigned for the Australian Christians in the Federal seat of Fremantle in 2013 — where he was quoted in a local paper opposing same-sex marriage, before joining the Liberal party and running for the safe Labor state seat of Cockburn in 2021.

This week he would not say whether or not he stood by his past comments.

He said he was focusing on issues like “cost of living, rising crime rates, the broken health system – specifically Peel Health Campus, and Labor’s offshore wind farm”.

“The Federal Parliament resolved these matters in 2017 following a plebiscite in which people had their say,” he said.

Asked if his views would impact his ability to represent all constituents including those in same-sex relationships, Mr Mulder insisted he had the “energy and experience” to “fight for solutions to the issues local people are talking to me about every day”.

The Federal seat of Canning, which includes the State seat of Dawesville, voted 60.2 per cent Yes in the same-sex marriage plebiscite.

Mr Mulder is one of a string of former Christian Democrats or Australian Christians who ran for the Liberal party in 2021 and are now having another go under the Liberal banner at the March 2025 State election.

Others include Phil Twiss, Ka-ren Chew and Amanda-Sue Markham who are running for seats in the upper house.

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