A FIERY debate over gay marriage between Greens candidate Tim Emanuelle and Australian Christian's candidate Therese Corbett was the stand-out moment of Wednesday night's Wannon candidates debate at the Lighthouse Theatre.
Many had expected a fight to unfold between candidates and Ms Corbett stuck by her remarks that gays and paedophiles are in the "same category". She made the same controversial statement while previously running with Katter's Australian Party before joining the Australian Christians.
Mr Emanuelle, 24 drew strong audience applause after launching a passionate attack on the Christian candidate.
"As a same-sex attracted person who is a youth worker I find that one of the most detestable things I've ever heard," Mr Emanuelle said.
"When you say things like that it has a real impact in the community. Young kids in regional areas are seven times more likely to commit suicide then their heterosexual peers and comments like that have a direct impact on mental health."
Ms Corbett made a garbled attempt to clarify her remarks, that received gasps of disbelief from the crowd.
"I actually put them in the same category as someone other than the journalist, as they do both practice the same sexuality - sexual activity rather" she said.
"I was saying they do practice the same sexual activity, that was the only category."
"Families shouldn't be brought up in these relationships, it's quite detrimental. It's not a healthy or natural upbringing for a child."
She made a number of confusing statements after challenged by Sex Party candidate Chris Johnson who said she was "deluded".
Ms Corbett said, "I think the delusion is with reprobate minds - they don't understand that they can't make informed decisions."
Wannon Liberal MP Dan Tehan said he supported the traditional view of marriage.
Labor's Michael Barling said "I support marriage equality. It's a right that should be entitled in this world."