Growing up in north Queensland Carl Katter dated girls and played league, hiding his secret life as a gay in one of Australia's conservative heartlands.
"You become good at hiding what you are," he told Channel Ten.
But Katter's confession to veteran interviewer George Negus was more than just a personal outing: his older half-brother is Bob Katter, the flamboyant right-wing MP whose view of "poofs" is rigidly uncompromising.
"Truly this proposition deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed," Bob Katter told a rally against same-sex marriage in the Great Hall of Parliament House.
The elder Katter is one of Australia's most recognisable politicians and shifted from the rural conservative National Party to become an independent and, more recently, leader of his own Australian Party.
His blunt condemnation of gay marriage prompted Carl Katter to speak out, saying he did not understand his brother's motives nor his willingness to "target a minority and persecute them in the way he has. It's hurtful, it's dangerous, it's damaging ..."
Yesterday Carl Katter distributed a video appeal through the internet-based lgreg aobby group GetUp urging greater tolerance and a change in the laws banning same-sex marriage.
His nationwide appeal has given fresh impetus to what is already a growing campaign to legalise gay marriage.
MPs yesterday reported the views of their electorates to Parliament - raging from almost total opposition to overwhelming support - while gay marriage advocate Kerryn Phelps and other activists met Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbott.
Both oppose same-sex marriage, although Gillard faces a mounting challenge from within the Labor Party.
Her gay Finance Minister, Penny Wong, will be a key advocate in a move to change Labor's policy at the party's national convention.
The Greens have introduced a bill to allow same-sex marriage to federal Parliament.
There is also support for same-sex marriage within the Liberals.By Greg Ansley Email Greg