Two candidates for Bob Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) have likened gay and lesbian people to paedophiles, with one saying he’d go as far as refusing to let a gay person teach his children.
Tess Corbett from Lake Bolac is running for KAP against Liberal MP Dan Tehan in the federal seat of Wannon in South West Victoria.
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.
The Spectator also questioned the Wannon candidate about the debate surrounding the proposed anti-discrimination laws and religious exemptions.
“I don’t want gays, lesbians to be working my kindergarten. If you don’t like it go to another kindergarten,” she said.
In response, Federal Finance Minister Penny Wong tweeted “Re Tess Corbett. Bigotry is not morality. And it has no place in today’s Australia”.
On Wednesday night, Corbett was backed by KAP’s Queensland Senate candidate Bernard Gaynor (pictured), who tweeted “I wouldn’t let a gay person teach my children and I am not afraid to say it.”
“If we value free speech and democracy then we would respect the right of Christians to hold their views about right and wrong. And as a Christian, the homosexual lifestyle is immoral,” Gaynor told the Courier Mail.
“I don’t think Bob would have a problem with me saying this. As a parent, we should have the discretion over who teaches our children.”
The views of both candidates have received bipartisan opposition.
Victoria’s Energy and Resources Minister, Liberal MP Michael O’Brien also responded via twitter “I wouldn’t let @bernardgaynor teach my children and I am not afraid to say it #auspol”
Katter has said he would like to run a candidate in every seat ahead of this year’s federal election.
When asked for a response to Corbett’s comments, he told Fairfax Media he “didn’t talk about those things”.
Katter last year admitted that he regretted running controversial homophobic advertisements during the 2012 Queensland state election.
KAP copped a serious backlash during the election campaign after running the TV commercial, which used an image of two gay men as part an attack ad against now Premier Campbell Newman.
During a forum with former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last year, Katter said he would regret airing the commercials “for the rest of my days”.