There’s free speech, and then there’s bigotry. And, as Penny Wong tweeted today, “bigotry is not morality.”
She was referring to Tess Corbett, Bob Katter’s Australian Party senate candidate in Western Victoria who told The Hamilton Spectator this week that she did not want gays and lesbians working in her kindergarten.
According to smh.com.au, Ms Corbett (pictured left, photo: Hamilton Spectator) said she considered gay people to be in the same category as paedophiles.
Yup, that’s bigotry, and – do we really need to be writing these words in 2013? –that’s discrimination. It’s a whole lot of other things as well but we don’t want to discriminate against idiots.
According to The Australian Corbett, who is running for Bob Katter’s Australia Party in the seat of Wannon, also said it would be a “sad day” if homosexuals had equal rights to other people.
Asked whether she thought people were born gay or chose to be gay, Ms Corbett said: “God doesn’t make mistakes.”
It was, she said, “a moral issue.”
Meanwhile, another gay Katter controversy has blown up in Queensland where senate candidate Bernard Gaynor (below) was saying he would not let a gay person teach his children, and that he was not afraid to say it.
He invoked his right to free speech.
“If we value free speech and democracy then we would respect the right of Christians to hold their views about right and wrong.”
“Parents should have discretion over who teaches their children.”
Katter is no stranger to controversy over homophobia. His party ran homophobic advertisements during the 2012 Queensland election – images of two shirtless men holding each other and the slogan “Is a vote for LNP leader Campbell Newman a vote for gay marriage.”
Katter later said he regretted the advertisements, and yesterday he said Corbett’s comment was “a very stupid statement” and that the party would deal it.
He said her comments should not be taken seriously.
When Katter’s Australian Party was launched onto the Australian political landscape he talked about wanting to be taken seriously.
If his candidates keep making statements like these, that’s going to be a little hard, don’t you think?
You can watch Bob being interviewed by the team at The Project on Channel Ten about Corbett and Gaynor’s comments:*Front page photo by Russell Shakespeare via News Limited.