NSW Premier Mike Baird — a Liberal Government will judge LGBTI people on their contribution, not sexuality

NSW Premier Mike Baird — a Liberal Government will judge LGBTI people on their contribution, not sexuality
Image: NSW Premier Mike Baird. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

NSW Premier Mike Baird has made a direct appeal to the state’s LGBTI community ahead of tomorrow’s state election, saying a Coalition government would judge people only on what they contribute to society and not on their sexuality.

However, Baird, who spoke exclusively to the Star Observer, said his opposition to marriage equality remained firm.

The Star Observer also reached out to Opposition Leader Luke Foley, who in February said he now supported gay marriage, but no response was received at the time of print.

Based on the 2011 result and taking into account boundary changes, election analysts say the seat of Sydney – which includes the LGBTI-centric suburbs of Potts Point and Darlinghurst – is a notionally much closer battle between the Liberal’s Patrice Pandeleos and sitting independent MP Alex Greenwich.

However, in the inner west seats of Newtown and Balmain, which are also LGBTI-centric, it’s set to be a battle mainly between Labor and the Greens.

The Star Observer reported on research last week that showed gay men, who are heavily represented in the Sydney electorate, were more inclined to vote for the Coalition than gay women.

Asked if LGBTI voters could trust the Liberals to protect their interests, Baird said a “hallmark” of his premiership would be the respect given to all the communities of NSW.

“My government will not judge people on the basis of race, religion or sexuality,” he said.

“My government will judge people based on how they behave and what they contribute to the community and those around them.”

Baird said he was “very proud” of an election pledge he made last Sunday to provide free medicine to people suffering with chronic illnesses such as HIV.

Currently, patients must contribute $37.70 – or $6.10 for concessions – per prescription for drugs specified as “highly specialised”.

Baird said a Coalition Government would absorb the $76m cost from early in the next term meaning no out-of-pocket expenses for seriously ill people.

Despite figures from advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality showing 72 per cent of people are in favour of marriage equality, and reports this week that support is growing in Liberal ranks, Baird said he remained opposed to same-sex marriage.

“I am on the record as not personally supporting any change to our current marriage laws, but under my leadership my team will be allowed conscience vote on this issue,” he said.

The Premier would not be drawn on whether the federal Liberal Party should follow the example of the NSW branch and permit a free vote on the issue.

In the seat of Sydney, both the Greens and Liberals have asked their voters to preference Greenwich while Labor supporters are being asked to vote for only their candidate. Greenwich has also stated he would not allocate preferences to any other candidate, due to his independent standing.

At an election forum this week, Greenwich said in the event of a hung parliament he would consult the community and the other crossbenchers before making a decision on which party to support.

“The winner in a hung parliament would be Sydney,” he said.

He said that at this point, before the results are in, “I’m not going to do a blank cheque for the Labor Party or the Liberal Party”.

Meanwhile, talking to the Star Observer earlier this week, the Greens’ former leader Bob Brown crticised both major parties for their slow progress on marriage equality.


RELATED: Why the gays can’t even vote straight (analysis)

RELATED: Community organisations release NSW election survey results

OPINION: Labor will help defend what has been won and advance what is left to do — by Penny Sharpe (Labor)

OPINION: Why NSW’s LGBTI community needs an independent MP  by Alex Greenwich (independent)

OPNION: The push for full LGBTI equality requires Green boldness and courage — by Mehreen Faruqi (NSW Greens)

OPINION: Looking back, looking forward — by Trevor Khan (NSW Nationals)

OPINION: How my days as a young gay man have influenced me as an MP — by Bruce Notley-Smith (Liberals)


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59 responses to “NSW Premier Mike Baird — a Liberal Government will judge LGBTI people on their contribution, not sexuality”

  1. ‘My government will judge people on how they behave’??

    Let’s get Alex up again, Let’s get Greens up and hope enough People hate the Libs to have a hung parliament where these voices will really matter.

  2. You say that to get our vote
    Where is our right to marry
    If you were serious we wouldn’t still be asking for equal rights
    Shove ya vote and a power pole up ya butt buddy

  3. Good thing Baird has kept Abbott away from the election campaign…Having him around didn’t work too well for the VIC and QLD campaigns….

  4. So this is basically Baird saying “Vote for me & we’ll judge you on your actions, not your sexuality, but I’m still not supporting your right to marry.”

  5. Baird will be happy then that his good friend Tony Abbott is continuing to thwart a free vote on marriage equality. Kick ’em both out! If Baird loses this weekend, Abbott will be gone next week. Best 2-for-1 deal in a long time ;)

    • We approached Labor’s Luke Foley. Gave him ample time but he did not respond at the time of print. We also published a piece from former Greens leader Bob Brown in regards to the NSW Election. Yesterday, we published opeds that came from all the major parties and key independents. We do not endorse any political party, nor do we intend to.

    • Everyone’s a critic. Good job with all the political profile stories so far Star Observer – Lib, Labor, Greens and Independent (Alex Greenwich)

    • I don’t care who you approached or the reasons for pro LNP stories right on top of the elections I see the stories being run. You can google proud LNP and see where the little bread crumb trail leads back to. Hint thumbs up rainbow. Former Greens. You also have alitte profile of the person who writes the stories remember. I have followed Star for along time. I know what I see. Adrain you can put that crap out in the main comment thread.

    • The left have made me feel more alienated for being a liberal voting homosexual than any homophobe I’ve encountered … I’m getting so frustrated with the anti Abbott anti liberal LGBT folks that think they represent the entire community ..

    • I wouldnt call it balls….you get your nickers in a knot about what the star is publishing..it is a free country.you are acting like a little child not getting their way..at the end of the day its about politics & if you havent realised yet & they couldnt give a rats arse about you or me..so take a chill pill & move on ffs

    • First of all idiot I never made reference regarding what the star posts. I made a point of questioning bairds judgement the night before an election and the timing about issues/policy considering he’s mate Abbott won’t even recognize same sex couples. So get off your soap box or actually know what your talking about by reading my comments