The Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet, Senator Heffernan, has abused his parliamentary entitlements through his bizarre obsession with homosexuality. It is a standing joke around this building that the senator is personally obsessed with all things homosexual and that he uses his office resources to keep files and run vendettas against homosexual citizens. He has turned his office into a star chamber to satisfy his own homophobic and bigoted views. Unfortunately, this is more than a joke: it is a damning commentary on a government that is willing to tolerate such a person as its cabinet secretary. Senator Heffernan is unfit to serve in such a position. The senator regards homosexuality as a sickness; in fact, he is the one who is quite sick and who needs help. The Prime Minister should not ignore this problem any longer.

-” Labor MP Mark Latham, speaking in the House of Representatives on 6 March 2001.
 

 

He is an outstanding judge. He works tirelessly for justice in many, many ways and he has our full support.

-” Law Council of New South Wales president Tony Abbott in smh.com.au.
 

This is an extraordinary attack to be making on a judge of such eminence with such obvious, widespread support within the legal profession and system, under parliamentary privilege, which means the judge has a great deal of difficulty in finding a circumstance in which he may answer.

-” NSW Labor Attorney-General Bob Debus in smh.com.au.
 

Heffernan … [has] no decency or honour or respect. The sooner [the Liberal Party gets] rid of [him], the better for public life in Australia.

-” Former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to the ABC.
 

He’s Australia’s longest serving judge and there’s no judge in Australia of greater distinction and held as such in Australia and around the world.

-” Former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to the ABC.
 

It was no accident -¦ I think it’s an act of both cowardice and appalling political strategy.

-” Senator Brian Greig in ABConline.
 

I just think this is a complete misuse of the parliamentary procedure and a complete misunderstanding and misapplication of the distinction between the legislature and the judiciary.

-” Former Federal Court Judge Justice Marcus Einfeld in ABConline.
 

[Kirby’s] well reasoned and humane contribution to the gay law reform debate in Tasmania helped the state break out of the cycle of bitterness and division which surrounded the issue and move forward to embrace its gay and lesbian citizens.

-” Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson Rodney Croome.
 

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