Culture war stoushes, like the one still raging over Israel Folau’s homophobic social media posts, have a tendency to drag lesser-known figures into the national spotlight. The latest to get his 15 minutes of fame is Martyn Iles, the fresh-faced managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In the last few days, he’s landed high profile television appearances, and managed to get his face on the front page of Tuesday’s edition of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Iles’ performances on Sunrise and The Project haven't been ideal: he voiced agreement with Folau but struggled to articulate just who exactly would be going to hell. But throughout the Folau affair, Iles has demonstrated the kind of opportunism that could make the Christian right an even stronger political force. The day GoFundMe shut down Folau's fundraiser for legal fees, Iles and the ACL took over, raising $2 million in 24 hours.