Victoria’s only openly gay MP faces ejection from the Liberal Party after attacking colleagues as homophobic and intolerant following his loss in a preselection vote two weeks ago.
Controversial Liberal MP Andrew Olexander, who lost his licence for 12 months after crashing into parked cars while drunk last July, said last weekend some party members had constantly undermined him because he was gay.
They have continued to use any excuse to get rid of me they possibly can except the one that they know would be politically untenable for them to use -“ that is my sexuality and what I represent within the Liberal Party, Olexander told The Sunday Age.
I have had to endure allegations from my colleagues of drug taking, of having AIDS, of being out on the gay scene like some uncontrollable freak. They are bigoted and intolerant people, they are not just homophobic.
He said his preselection loss was due more to intolerance than his drink-driving charge, and accused Victorian Liberal leader Robert Doyle in particular of disloyalty.
Doyle rejected the claims of homophobia, saying the preselection contest -“ in which Olexander gained only a handful of votes -“ had been decided fairly.
My position is that I treat every individual equally, Doyle said in a statement.
My party treats people with respect and dignity and equality. That’s one of the fundamental tenets upon which we are based.
Doyle convened a party meeting yesterday at which Olexander had to explain his behaviour, Australian Associated Press reported.
After the meeting, Olexander said the agenda [Doyle] was pursuing was towards expulsion of me from the Victorian parliamentary Liberal Party.
He refused to retract his criticism and said he would resist any push for his expulsion.
The 40-year-old has been a contentious figure during his six-year parliamentary career.
In addition to the drink-driving conviction, an inquiry last year found Olexander had claimed a parliamentary travel allowance to which he was not entitled.
Olexander had to pay back about $7,000 in taxpayer funds, ABC News reported.
The upper house MP has crossed the floor to vote in support of gay and lesbian issues, including allowing IVF treatment for lesbians and single women.
He did not return Sydney Star Observer‘s calls this week.