Mark Latham has used his inaugural speech in parliament as One Nation’s New South Wales leader to rail against the LGBTI community and inclusivity in schools.

After praising the achievements of “Western civilisation”, Latham went on to repeatedly attack “leftists” and “elites”.

He criticised gender and sexual diversity, seeming to go after trans people in particular.

“The New Left are the new primitives of our time, junking the importance of evidence, of recorded history, of biological science, to pretend that all parts of our lives, especially race, gender and sexuality can be fluid, that everything we know and feel around us is, in fact, ‘socially constructed’, that is what they say, ‘socially constructed’. They are peddling fake news,” he said.

“People know and understand the things they see and feel in their lives. It is called evidence.

“Our personal characteristics and identities are fixed, not fluid. With few exceptions people are born either male or female.”

Latham argued that schools were being taken over by Orwellian pro-LGBTI “indoctrination”.

“Elitist, would-be dictators taking away from working-class communities the things these battlers value,” he said.

“The right to speak their mind; to say they love their country and want Australia Day to stay; to practice their Christianity, openly and freely; to send their children to school without the garbage of Safe Schools, Wear It Purple days, HeadRest [mindfulness training] indoctrination and the other crackpot theories making some New South Wales classrooms more like a Hare Krishna meeting than actual education.

“And when they go to work the chance to do their job without being bombarded by employment quotas, ‘unconscious bias’ training and a long list of unspeakable, taboo words, scary, scary stuff, like ‘guys’ and ‘mums and dads’.”

He said that schools were “pushing” trans issues on students.

“We should not be confusing young people and risking their mental health by pushing gender fluidity upon them,” said Latham.

“We should not be taking away from parents their essential role as the primary carers of their children in matters personal and sexual. We should not be changing the purpose of our education system, transforming schools from places of skill and academic attainment into gender fluidity factories.

“Most of all, we should not be losing sight of the interests of mainstream, majority Australia.”

Latham also used his speech to suggest white men were an oppressed class.

“Identity politics is a zero-sum game,” he said.

“It uses employment quotas and other forms of institutionalised bias to favour one hand-picked identity grouping over another, regardless of personal need.

“This causes enormous resentment among those who miss out because they have the wrong skin colour, the wrong gender, the wrong sexuality—things they can do nothing about.

“Divisive identity politics subdivides our society, destroying its sense of common good and it leaves the rainbow Left impotent.

“They have no solution for the white welfare-dependent man living in a public housing estate. In fact, far from helping him, perversely and tragically they define him as part of the problem. Imagine how he feels. I have spoken to these men. Imagine how they feel when they see other identity characteristics gaining special treatment.”

President of Wear It Purple, Ross Wetherbee, spoke with the Star Observer about Latham’s maiden speech, which denigrated Wear It Purple Day, an annual day recognised by many schools that tackles homophobia and transphobia against LGBTI young people.

“We condemn any remarks that incite bullying, victimisation and exclusion of LGBTIQ+ young people because we know the damage that these actions can inflict on young people grappling with their sexuality or gender identity,” he said.

“Our reason for being is to assist individuals, schools, universities, workplaces and others to show rainbow young people that they are welcome in our society – that they are seen, they are loved and that they belong.”

Latham has been speaking out against the LGBTI community for years, becoming particularly vocal during the 2017 marriage equality debate, during which he accused the community of a “reign of terror”.

Earlier this year he claimed an “evil political program” was setting out to make children trans.

Wear It Purple Day is on Friday 30 August, 2019. For more information, visit:  www.wearitpurple.org

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