Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott says he would “in principle” support federal anti-discrimination legislation which covers sexuality and gender diversity.

Abbott was interviewed by Doug Pollard on Melbourne GLBTI radio station JOY94.9 this morning.
“If [anti-discrimination] law is there, I would be very happy to look at it,” he said.

“I guess we would want to scrutinise it to ensure it didn’t have any unintended consequences, we’d want to be sure that it would in practice work out for the best, because so many well-intentioned laws can have obnoxious consequences.

“Having done all of that, I could see no reason why we couldn’t support it.”

Abbott later said, “In principle I would support it.”

Abbott was also pressed on comments he made in a recent 60 Minutes interview that he felt “threatened” by the homosexuality. He said it was a “poor choice of words.”

“In a television interview, you sometimes come out with things that if you were considering your words more carefully, you wouldn’t say,” he said.

“Don’t forget, I’m a 52-year-old bloke from a traditional background. I’ve had orthodox Catholic teachings in my youth, and it takes time… to come to a more balanced and nuanced understanding of these things.

“I have a number of gay people who are very close to me, and without wanting to pretend that I am perfect, and that I will never again be guilty of sensitivity crimes, I do think that I am pretty good at taking people as I find them.”

In the interview, Abbott indicated he was still opposed to gay marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples, however said he would support a national relationship recognition scheme.

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