Parents, friends and relatives of gay and lesbian people are being encouraged to register their disgust with Tony Abbott’s office over comments made on 60 Minutes that he and most Australians feel “threatened” by gay people.
National PFLAG spokeswoman Shelley Argent condemned the comments, saying the sentiment was based on myth.
“Tony Abbott is typical of people who choose to believe the myths and outdated beliefs,” she said.
“As a hopeful leader of this country he should be promoting understanding and accepting, not feeding the fearmongers who oppress this minority group by continuing the belief that our sons and daughters are second-rate and to be feared.”
The Australian Coalition for Equality invited the Opposition leader to meet with representatives from the gay and lesbian community to “overcome feeling threatened”.
“Mr Abbott can pick any place he feels safe and we’ll invite ordinary members of the gay and lesbian community to come and talk with him, to show he has nothing to fear,” ACE spokesman Corey Irlam said. He called on Abbott to support further anti-discrimination legislation.
“A supportive statement would assure the LGBTI community that there is bipartisan support for fundamental standards of fair treatment in the workplace, education, superannuation, health care and aged care.”
Abbott attempted to backtrack from the comments, during an interview on the ABC’s Lateline, claiming that it was an off-the-cuff remark.
“There is no doubt that it challenges orthodox notions of the right order of things,” he told Lateline’s Leigh Sales after she pressed him on what he meant by using the word ‘threatened’.
“But as I also said on the program, it happens, it’s a fact of life and we have to treat people as we find them.”
info: Contact Tony Abbott at
PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 or email