FOR the first time in Australian political history, two openly-gay candidates representing both major parties will battle it out for an electorate during the Federal election.
The Liberal National Party’s (LNP) candidate Trevor Evans is the former chief-of-staff and campaign manager to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. He will take on Labor’s pre-selected candidate Pat O’Neil, an army major, for the federal electorate of Brisbane.
“My priorities are economic and business growth to create the jobs we need now and into the future,” he said.
“I have also been an active member of our local community supporting charities to assist the vulnerable and less fortunate in Brisbane.”
Labor’s Pat O’Neill said while he acknowledged that is history is being made, he did not think having two openly gay candidates was such a big issue.
“I think it’s reflective of the fact that Australians, and society in general, come from a whole range of backgrounds and everybody gets treated with a fair go in Australia,” O’Neill told the Brisbane Times.
“People are who they are, they’re doing what they’re doing, and there are a whole lot of factors that make up who we are as a person and sexuality is just one of those factors.”
Mr O’Neill said it doesn’t matter who the LNP preselects, the party “stills stands for the same unfair policies”.
“Regardless of the sexuality of their candidate, that candidate represents a party that doesn’t support marriage equality, that doesn’t support LGBTIQ Australians,” he said.
Last month O’Neill spoke at a Safe School rally and told the Star Observer when Coalition MPs talk about protecting students from brainwashing and social engineering, they are not talking about the Safe School program they are talking about LGBTI-shy Australians.
“They speak to people throughout Australia, young people who may be having issues with their sexuality see these members of Parliament on television basically saying LGBTI youth are second class citizens and do not deserve the same respect as everyone else,” he said.
Evans did not return several phone calls from the Star Observer this week.