Sydney Star Observer What do you think of the gay community?

Pauline Hanson I have my opinion and I’m not going to back away. What I’ve always said -“ and I have friends who are gay -“ what you do behind your closed doors is your business. I’m very strong for the family unit.

SSO In your maiden speech, [then advisor] John Pasquarelli included the word homosexual when making reference to the taxpayer-funded money people unfairly received from the government. Why did you decide to leave that out?

PH Because I said to him, John, what are you talking about? He said, Everyone knows about this. It wasn’t true and I didn’t believe it, so I took it out. I don’t need to put something in the speech for publicity.

SSO Back in 1998, you visited a gay nightclub with David Oldfield in Cairns. How was it?

PH David turned up at the club later. He felt quite comfortable with it and it didn’t worry him. It was more determination. People were saying, You’re not wanted here, so leave. I can be a determined woman and I thought, No, I was invited here. I sat down and spoke to two lovely homosexual men.

SSO Do you support gay and lesbian equality?

PH What I won’t support is gay marriages.

SSO Do you support gay civil unions?

PH I have to understand more about civil unions. I can’t accept same-sex marriage or a union between people. Then it will be okay to allow the other rights. Then the rights of adopting children or IVF must be accepted. If you accept one area you must accept another area.

SSO You have formed a friendship with Todd McKenney, who is gay and is set to be a father this year. With this friendship in mind, do you support same-sex couples raising children?

PH The woman is having the child and it’s Todd’s sperm. I’ve met his partner. I have concerns about it, whether it’s two women together or two men. The children should have two parents, mum and dad.

I’m not going to lie about it, Todd is a great friend and what they do is their own business. If I go on and said yes to gay marriage, I wouldn’t be here any longer and neither would you. The whole point a husband and wife comes down to is that you have children and you bring them into the world.

SSO You said your greatest desire is to see all Australians treat each other as equals as we travel together towards the new century. Does this include homosexuals having the same rights as heterosexuals?

PH There you go again down the same track. When I said equals, it actually covers a lot of areas as equals. But in my eyes I have a mother and father, which is female and male, which I see as a family. Two men or two women cannot have a child. That’s how the species work but I’m not saying that the love won’t be there on the child but it’s not the way we were built.

SSO Are you homophobic?

PH No, I’m not homophobic. I’m looking out for the children and also the child’s point of view. Does anyone think about the child? I know that the child is going to have a lot of love but I don’t know what I would have felt if I was brought up with two men or women. Are we are actually thinking what our child would think about this?

I don’t want people to feel there is selfishness to the whole attitude of looking at the wellbeing of the child. It’s all right if you love each other and you want to be together. Good luck to you, I’ve got no problems with it.

SSO Pauline Pantsdown (Simon Hunt’s famous drag persona) did not get much of a mention in your autobiography. Why’s that?

PH Well, I did put it in the book. I didn’t think he needed any more mentioning.

SSO Was his song Backdoor Man hard for you to hear?

PH I have never come out against homosexuals. It was all right for Simon to attack me and for him to put out a song saying that I’m a prostitute and that I like children. So again, who cops all the bloody slack all the time? You will not find a comment of ridicule from me anywhere about the gay community.

I welcome anyone into my home and befriend anyone and will take them on how they treat me. I do believe gays, if they want to share their love and pass on things to their partners, then do it through the legal channels. They should be permitted to do so.

SSO Do you still believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians?

PH No, we are endangered of being swamped by Muslims.

SSO What do you mean?

PH I am very concerned with the way our country is headed with the Muslims being here. I see them as a threat to our way of life. I would like to see the government stop more Muslims coming into the country.

SSO Should we ban or prevent people with HIV from coming to Australia?

PH Yes, we should.

SSO So what do you have to offer the gay community?

PH Truth and honesty. You know where you stand with me, not like the other bastards who tell you one thing and do another. Everyone has the right to a way of life. I wish everyone in the gay and lesbian community good health and happiness. I really mean it.

Pauline Hanson’s autobiography Untamed And Unashamed is out now.

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