Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott has defended comments he made about homosexuality, saying gays and lesbians “challenge” the order of things and he “probably felt a bit threatened … as most people do” when asked how he felt about homosexuality.

It now appears that the Prime Minister, Mr Abbott, feels a bit threatened by the new US ambassador to Australia. The ambassador came to Australia more than 12 months ago. It has been rumoured that Mr Abbott has not yet shaken hands with the Ambassador.

The 54-year-old former head of the Office of Personnel Management, Mr John Berry, is the first openly gay US ambassador to serve in a Group of 20 nation and the highest ranking openly gay man in United States history. He married his partner of 17 years, Mr Curtis Yee, in Washington last year.