A Victorian candidate for Bob Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) who linked gay people with paedophiles has quit, while a Queensland Senate nominee has had his membership suspended in fallout from yesterday’s extraordinary display of anti-gay animus from the party.
Gay rights advocates have called on the country’s major political parties to boycott voting preferrences towards KAP if more anti-gay comments emerge.
Yesterday, Tess Corbett bowed out from her nomination for the federal seat of Wannon in Victoria.
Earlier in the week, she told the Hamilton Spectator she considered gay people to be in the same category as paedophiles.
“Paedophiles will be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians and get rights,” she said.
To her defence, former national secretary and Queensland Senate nominee Bernard Gaynor tweeted on Wednesday that he did not want gay people teaching his children.
KAP national director Aidan McLindon said the party had suspended the membership of Gaynor.
Katter told media outlets earlier in the week that Corbett’s comments were “stupid” and said they would be dealt with internally. But questions about the controversy continued to irk the Far North Queensland MP yesterday and led to him walking out of an interview with television journalists.
Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Rodney Croome said Katter and his party members needed to realise the damage these remarks had on vulnerable gay and lesbian youth.
“If this continues, the Coalition and Labor Party must reject the bigotry by ruling out a preference swap with the Katter Australian Party,” Croome said.
Politicians from both major parties have condemned the views.
Victorian Energy and Resources Minister Michael O’Brien also responded via twitter “I wouldn’t let @bernardgaynor teach my children and I am not afraid to say it #auspol”.
WATCH: Katter walks out on an interview over questions about homosexuality.