Controversial independent MP Bob Katter appears to have performed a stunning back-flip on his stance over marriage equality. Earlier today, the previously outspoken opponent of the issue endorsed a senate candidate for the ACT who has publically stated his support for equality.
Katter, who has previously refused to acknowledge LGBTI issues and marriage equality as a priority for him and his Katter’s Australian Party (KAP), endorsed the pro-marriage equality candidate Stephen Bailey.
Bailey took to Canberra airwaves as soon as possible to spread the news of his endorsement and also state his pro-marriage equality position.
“There are battles to be fought everywhere in life,” Bailey told 2CC.
“Personally I haven’t heard an argument as to why we should stand in the way of something that may be inevitable. But our party is diverse and strong and robust enough for it to have people like me to argue that case.”
Katter also told Canberra radio that he welcomed diverse views within his party and wants the KAP to endorse all sorts of candidates.
“Particularly young people, I always find talking to young people very exciting and Steven would be a very good example of that kind of person,” he said.
The news comes on the back of recent anti-gay controversy stirred up by now ex-members of KAP who drew a link between homosexuality and paedophilia. Katter refused to state whether he agreed with the comments.
Former KAP candidate Bernard Gaynor responded to Bailey’s endorsement by declaring it may destroy the party.
“What Bob doesn’t appreciate is that the members signed up to his party because he stood for something. That was economic and social family values – including his party’s firm stance that marriage was between a man and a woman,” Gaynor said in statement on his website.
“The news that Bob Katter is now endorsing pro-gay marriage candidates and backing them to change the party’s position will cause bloodshed in every branch.”