Gladys Liu has been elected to parliament in the seat of Chisholm after a tight contest with the Labor candidate, Jennifer Yang.
The Liberal MP’s surprise victory has secured Prime Minister Scott Morrison a majority government, after the Coalition won the federal election in a similarly surprising result.
While Liu’s election has been praised as historic by some, others have criticised her past, which involves a history of campaigning against both Safe Schools and marriage equality.
“Stop Safe Schools programs teaching our children homosexual ideas and practice,” read a flyer accompanying the petition.
“Stop stealing our children from our own culture and values. Protect parents rights and say ‘no’ to the un-Safe Schools program.”
And earlier this year, The Guardian republished comments Liu made an interview with the outlet in 2016 in which she expressed that the Chinese-Australian community viewed same-sex marriage and other issues negatively.
Hitting back at The Guardian‘s report and calling it “fake”, Liu said at the time that she was simply expressing the views of some members of the Chinese-Australian community.
In response to Liu’s criticism of their reporting, The Guardian released audio of the Chisholm candidate’s response in the interview and stood by the story.
“A lot of Chinese parents they just do not agree with letting boys go into a girls’ toilet. They strongly oppose the Safe Schools program,” she said in the audio.
“Not only toilets, it’s also the crossdressing, the introduction of transgender – this is something they found difficult to accept, especially to primary aged children.
“The second thing is same sex marriage, now that is kind of connected to the first one, that is their belief that same-sex marriage is against normal practice.
“The Chinese people come to Australia because they want good education for their children, good environment, they want good things for their next generation, not to be destroyed – they use the word destroyed – by these sort of concepts of same-sex, transgender, intergender, crossgender and all this rubbish,” Liu said.
“To them this is just ridiculous rubbish.”