How they’ve captured us, the concerned mothers of the No to marriage equality movement’s first TV ad: Cella White, Dr Pansy Lai and Pastor Heidi McIvor. Yes, that’s right, Pastor. McIvor in particular seems neatly poised for a career in politics, prompting Crikey to take a deeper look at her rather radical beliefs.

Right-wing bingo

As revealed in Tips and Rumours yesterday, McIvor is a former staffer to Family First senator Steve Fielding, as well as former Nationals MP and federal agriculture minister Peter McGuaran and state Liberal MP Philip Davis.

She also fronted an anti-abortion rally on the steps of State Parliament with DLP MP Rachel Carling-Jenkins. Ding, ding, ding, ding.

Expanding Christendom

Further tips from our readers from reveal McIvor is not just a pastor at the evangelical City Builders Church in Sale, rural Victoria, which promises to see “the Kingdom of God advanced and the region [of Gippsland] changed”, but also married to Julian McIvor, advertising manager at the Fairfax-owned Gippsland Times.

Last week the Gippsland Times defended a bizarre “traditional marriage” advertisement, which spoke of the “flash of light” that occurs when a baby is conceived in marriage. The paper defended the ad as free speech.

Sources tell us other members of the church are working at the Gippsland Times, part of the church’s efforts to influence local and federal government, particularly Gippsland Nationals MP Darren Chester, whom City Builders Church pastors have criticised for supporting marriage equality.

City Builders do not seem content with a separation of church and state, suggesting on its website “our aim is to raise up strong local churches that work in partnership to influence cities, regions and nations”.

The influence that McIvor and her ilk are seeking in our national debate is not small and it is not limited to the same-sex marriage debate. McIvor will be a name to watch.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey