Nationals senator Barry O’Sullivan has once again declared himself “a woman”, this time to avoid being criticised for being anti-abortion.
In parliament yesterday, O’Sullivan complained of being under “attack” for opposing abortion rights, taking particular issue with the Greens.
“I’m going to declare my gender today – as I can – to be a woman, and then you’ll no longer be able to attack me,” O’Sullivan said.
Greens senator Larissa Waters had previously said that O’Sullivan should “get his hands and his rosaries off my ovaries and those of the 10,000 Queensland women who have an abortion each year”.
Mehreen Faruqi, another Greens senator, had previously singled out conservative voices in parliament as “merchants of hate”.
“They prey on the anxieties of Australians and offer solutions that are empty, hateful and divisive,” Faruqi said, specifically referencing One Nation.
O’Sullivan said in response that “some of us have come in here with reasonably strong views on conservative issues, only to be attacked and frustrated by the Greens.”
“They are so far to the left, you wouldn’t find them if you had two pairs of bifocals on at the same time. It is outrageous.”
O’Sullivan claimed that the Greens were working to “marginalise” others in parliament who he described as “centre right conservatives”.
“We can’t open our traps. You cannot say the word ‘abortion’ without being attacked by this mob of almost – I would say grubs if I didn’t think you were going to make me withdraw it, Mr Acting Deputy President.
“I will not stand silent. I will not stand mute while these people try to continue to marginalise policies and ideas that we want to discuss for this nation that I think are still largely supported by the majority of the nation,” O’Sullivan said.
It’s not the first time O’Sullivan has appropriated language around trans and gender diverse identities to make a political point.
In May, during a discussion of government guidelines around sex and gender recognition, O’Sullivan asked if he could “go into the ladies’ loo-loo” if he “declared” himself a woman.
When he was criticised by Greens LGBTQI spokesperson Janet Rice for the comments, he replied, “I’m not being insensitive.”