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Liberals get first gay senator
Western Australia’s state Parliament has endorsed the federal Liberal Party’s first openly gay parliamentarian to fill a Senate vacancy.
Dean Smith, 42, will fill the Senate spot left vacant after Senator Judith Adams died of breast cancer in March.
Smith has publicly described himself as a conservative “constitutional revolutionary” who believes state parliaments should have a stronger say in federal constitutional matters and the selection of High Court judges, and is opposed to Australia becoming a republic.
Despite being openly gay, Smith also opposes same-sex marriage.
Smith was previously Bronwyn Bishop’s chief of staff and was a senior advisor to then Liberal leader John Howard during the 1998 federal election.
Until recently, Smith had worked as a lobbyist through his firm Smith & Duda Consulting.
Smith has already established an electorate office at 48 Ventnor Ave, West Perth, and will sit in the Senate until the next federal election in 2013.