Abbott will give a speech about the “importance of family” to the largest anti-gay legal advocacy group in the US.

While Australian politicians decide how to handle the outcome of a national plebiscite concerning marriage equality, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is preparing to make a speech to a well known anti-LGBT hate group in America.

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)  is the largest anti-gay legal advocacy group in the US. The lawyers associated with the group wrote the original language for same-sex marriage bans in the states of Idaho, Colorado, and South Carolina.

The group has also sued cities and states that pass anti-discrimination laws, regularly defend businesses that discriminate against LGBT individuals, and have worked to promote anti-LGBT laws around the world.

Though not many details have been released about the conference, Abbott’s speech is reportedly concerned with the “importance of family”.

Abbott’s sister, a well known marriage equality campaigner and lesbian, says she is concerned about the visit. She said, “On the face of it, and without knowing what he is going there to say, it is disappointing.”

She continued on to say, “It doesn’t sit with my understanding of how he views the world, so, yes, I was surprised. I don’t believe Tony is in any way winding back rights for the gay community but I was surprised to hear he was going.”

Forster said that she had not heard of the ADF before Monday and has been told conflicting reports about the group, whether  they are the “loony far right,” or could be compared to the Australian Christian Lobby.

“If it is the equivalent of the ACL, I would have no qualms in Tony going and speaking to them.”

The national director of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome, said, “I’m disappointed that he’s going to speak to a group that goes out of its way to promote division. I hope he tells this group that the country he was prime minister of believes above all else in inclusiveness, tolerance and equality.”

Bill Shorten, the Opposition Leader said the group represents “some of the worst excesses of the far religious right in America.” He added, “Everything from their trenchant and radical opposition to the right to choose, right through to people talking about criminalising homosexuality. What Mr. Abbott does is up to him, but he’s the former Liberal prime minister of Australia. What worries me is that his views are commonly held within the right-wing of the Liberal Party.”

The Human Rights Campaign has said “ADF practically invented marriage discrimination.”