Western Australia’s police minister, Rob Johnson, has come under fire for homophobic comments made towards a gay parliamentary colleague.
The Labor Party’s John Hyde – who is openly gay – was questioning Johnson yesterday over the cost of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) during debate over laws for the event.
But in dismissing Hyde’s comments the minister said: “He is just really, really upset and jealous that we have got a true queen coming to WA,” the minister remarked while dismissing the questions. He then withdrew the comments.
The comment has been blasted by the state’s peak gay and lesbian rights group as a “spiteful pot-shot”
“If someone said some kind of racial slur towards (Aboriginal MP) Ben Wyatt or another non-white MP there would be absolute uproar and rightly so,” the right’s group’s Kitty Hawkins told AAP.
“I wonder why this is any different. There was no cause for his comments, they were completely irrelevant and unrelated. It was just a spiteful pot-shot at John Hyde.”
Hawkins called on the Police Minister to acknowledge that his latest comments were “a stupid thing to say”.
“If these attitudes aren’t called on the same way as if you don’t call someone on racism or sexism, it’s almost like a sign or indication it’s alright and it’s acceptable,” she said.