Labor election candidates have received emails from a conservative lobby group threatening to run negative advertising if they supported legislation to outlaw gay conversion therapy.
ACT Labor election candidates across all five electorates received an email from Melbourne-based conservative group Binary Australia on Tuesday, warning it would release negative advertisements if they supported the government's bill to ban gay conversion therapy.
It came as Chief Minister and Labor leader Andrew Barr warned of a rise in "ultra-right activity" in Canberra, which he feared would only increase in the lead up to the ACT election.
Mr Barr said right-wing groups, which were based outside Canberra, were "agitated" by his government's progressive policies and would seek to rally their forces in an attempt to disrupt and influence the October 17 ballot.
In the email seen by The Canberra Times, Binary Australia spokeswoman Kirralie Smith said the candidates had 24 hours to respond before the ads would be published.
"Let us know if you support the Labor Green Bill or do you believe that parents and teachers and people of faith should be protected and able to speak openly with kids in their care?" it read in part.
"If you support the bill as is, or if we don't hear from you, the ads will be run online."
Ms Smith said Binary Australia had made attempts to gauge each candidate's position on the legislation before publishing the ads.
"People are reasonably asking where the candidates stand on these issues considering there was little to no public consultation," she said.
"We don't want to misrepresent the candidate's positions so we have gone to great lengths to get feedback from the candidates before we publish any advertising."
Labor's candidate for Kurrajong, Jacob Ingram, took to Facebook on Tuesday, saying he "couldn't care less" and stood behind the legislation.
He labelled the email "blackmail" and said it was "disgusting behaviour" by the conservative group, which "is only going to make me advocate for it even more".
"Do your worst," he wrote.
Ms Smith rejected the claim the emails were blackmail.
"It is not blackmail to ask a political candidate in public office to state their position on an issue," she said.
The bill has come under fire from religious groups saying the definition of sexuality and gender identity conversion practices is too broad.
Mr Barr said the threats from Binary Australia, which last week robocalled Canberrans about laws allowing young people to change their gender on birth certificates, was evidence of a rise in activity from what he described as "ultra-right conservative groups".
He also pointed to reports that material linked to alt-right, male-only group Proud Boys had been seen in Canberra.
"I fear that we will see more of this activity in the lead up to the territory election," Mr Barr said.
"The ultra-conservatives are certainly agitated by a progressive government in this city and are seeking to marshal their forces in an attempt to influence or disrupt the ACT election.
"I need to make very clear that we will not bow to pressure from right-wing extremist groups on gay conversion, on white supremacy on anti-Islam ... on all of that right-wing nonsense."