Out Gay Liberal MPs Lose Seats As Australia Votes For Anthony Albanese-Led Government

Out Gay Liberal MPs Lose Seats As Australia Votes For Anthony Albanese-Led Government
Image: Out Liberal MPs Tim Wilson, Trevor Evans and Trent Zimmerman were defeated in the federal elections on May 21, 2022.

Australians on Saturday voted decisively against wedge politics as Labor’s Anthony Albanese claimed victory, defeating Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Liberal party. 

National LGBTQI advocacy organisation Equality Australia called it a “stunning rebuke of the politics of division”. 

Morrison, who had vowed to bring back the un-amended anti-LGBTQI Religious Discrimination Bill in Parliament, if his government was re-elected, and endorsed a private member’s bill to ban trans women in female sport, was voted out of office. 

The Liberal party had one of its worst showings at the federal elections. One of the major casualties was the loss suffered by out gay Liberal MPs and moderate pro-LGBTQI Liberal MPs. Three out of four out Liberal MPs – Tim Wilson, Trent Zimmerman and Trevor Evans – were defeated. Liberal MP Angie Bell, the first out lesbian to represent a major party in the House of Representatives, was the only exception – she retained her northern Gold Coast seat of Moncrieff.

The message sent by Australian voters could not have been clearer than in Warringah, where Morrison’s “captain’s pick” candidate Katherine Deves managed to secure only 39 per cent of the two-party preferred vote against the 61 per cent polled by Independent MP Zali Steggal, who retained her seat. 

Morrison had refused to sack Deves, over her past anti-LGBTQI social media posts, including calling trans women “surgically mutilated”, describing surrogacy for gay couples as “a human rights violation” and “a vanity project”, comparing support for trans children to the “stolen generation” and likening her opposition to what she called “gender ideology” to the anti-Nazi resistance.

‘Stunning Rebuke Of The Politics Of Division’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (right) said he continues to back Liberal Warringah candidate Katherine Deves (left).

Liberal Senate leader Simon Birmingham in a TV debate admitted that a “contagion effect” might have affected the prospects of other candidates.

“I think it sends a message about what Australians believe when it comes to issues of respect, of inclusion, of diversity, and the message is, Australians want people to respect their lives but they also want to have a strong and profound respect for the lives of others,” said Senator Birmingham, in a thinly veiled swipe at Morrison.

According to Equality Australia, Saturday’s election results showed that Australia “overwhelmingly believes that every one of us should be equal”.

“This election campaign, some have tried to divide the community, using the lives of one of the most marginalised groups of people in the country in a cynical attempt to win votes,” said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia in a statement.

“Politicians and commentators have spread ill-informed and alarmist views about trans people – particularly trans women and children – in an effort to undermine their ability to participate equally in our society and to wind back the hard-fought gains of the LGBTIQ+ community.”

“But tonight’s result – particularly in Warringah – is a stunning rebuke of the politics of division, and another affirmation that the vast majority of the Australian community believes that every one of us, no matter who we are, whom we love, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Brown.

Anthony Albanese Signals Change, Appoints Out Lesbian Senator As Foreign Minister

Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese, on Saturday night, started his victory speech affirming that his government supported the Uluru statement in full and promising to lead a government that will unite Australians and not divide them. 

“I want Australia to continue to be a country that no matter where you live, who you worship, who you love or what your last name is, that places no restrictions on your journey in life,” said Albanese, adding, “I want to seek our common purpose and promote unity and not fear and – optimism, not fear and division”.

Albanese also announced that one of the first ministers to be sworn into his cabinet will be Labor leader in the senate, out lesbian senator Penny Wong as Australia’s new foreign minister. 

“Australians have chosen and they have chosen hope. Australians have chosen and they have looked to the future. A better future for all. A government that will act on climate change. A government for women. A government that will look to unify. To bring people together. Not to divide. A Labor government. An Albanese Labor government. Australians chose hope,” said Senator Wong. 

Labor leader Anthony Albanese and Senator Penny Wong at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in March 2022. Image: Supplied

Out Gay MPs Suffer Defeated

Out gay Liberal MPs were the casualties of Saturday’s vote. Liberal MP Tim Wilson lost his seat to teal independent and former ABC reporter Zoe Daniel. Wilson was first elected to the seat of Goldstein in 2016 and was reelected in 2019. 

Wilson had proposed to his partner, school teacher Ryan Bolger, in the House of Representatives in December 2017, after the same-sex marriage reforms bill was introduced in the lower house. Wilson married Bolger in March 2018. 

Trent Zimmerman, who was the first out LGBTQI member in the House of Representatives when he was first elected in 2015. Zimmerman lost his North Sydney seat to independent candidate Kylea Tink. 

Queensland’s first out gay federal MP Trevor Evans also suffered defeat, losing the seat of Brisbane to Greens’ Stephen Bates. 

Moderate Liberal MPs including Katie Allen, Fiona Martin, Dave Sharma, who, along with Zimmerman and Bridget Archer, had crossed the floor of the house during the vote in the Lower House on the Religious Discrimination Bill to introduce amendments to protect gay and trans students, also lost their seats. MP Archer, one of the five Liberal MPs who had helped stop the Bill in its tracks, was the only one to retain her seat of Bass in Tasmania. 

“We welcome the new members of parliament, some of whom have already spoken with us about their commitment to LGBTIQ+ equality, and we pay tribute to outgoing LGBTIQ+ members of parliament, including a number of gay MPs, who were integral in helping push internally for reforms, particularly on marriage equality and in support of LGBTQ teachers and students in religious schools. We look forward to working with all members of parliament to ensure all of us are equal under law, no matter who we are or whom we love,” Equality Australia CEO Brown.

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7 responses to “Out Gay Liberal MPs Lose Seats As Australia Votes For Anthony Albanese-Led Government”

  1. If they were so whoohoo fabulous, they would not have voluntarily joined the same party as people like Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton in the first place. Like others, I’m particular happy to see the back of Tim Wilson.

  2. There are many types of difference that fragment the Gay population (I am not sure if you can really call it a “Gay community”): Things like race, socioeconomic status, religion, nationality… If people ever wonder why Gay people have been so easily oppressed in the past – just look at the jealous, hateful comments already made here by Gay people against other Gay people. It is thought by many psychologists that depression etc. so prevalent among homosexuals, is not due to straight homophobia, but due to male (even Gay male) instincts – The desire to compete with other males, the incapacity of males to emotionally support other males due to their innate selfishness. Are males socialized to become so, or is it their natural instinct? Who knows… All political enfranchisement of Gay men is good for all Gay men. Gay politicians are not miracle workers, they are walking a tight rope to keep a popular position whilst being a member of a minority. Four of the most prominent Jewish politicians lost their seats at the federal election too. What the Gay world lacks is a sense of brotherhood and duty towards their own kind. Gay men too quickly use the excuse of race, class, foreign, physical appearance etc. to excuse their bad behaviour towards other gay men. They are too capable of objectifying other men and exploiting them. The Gay population has had the kind of ethics that is already seeing the movement go into serious decline in the USA where the Gay movement started. With the ascension of Russia and China, and the obvious decline of the United States, things are set to go bad. There were homosexuals who put other homosexuals on the trains to the concentration camps in Nazi Germany, and homosexuals who assisted prosecutors to get other Gay men imprisoned in Victorian England. Anyone born after 1989 has no idea how bad things can go. Do not ever take anything for granted – Especially out homosexual politicians.

  3. I am glad they are gone and their sexuality does not make them a good person. They were privileged wankers that only flew the gay flag when it suited. Wilson the worst of all, married but getting up to who knows what in the preyer room. Fantastic result I hope they are put on the Indue card.

  4. Tim Wilson’s sexuality hardly made him a Gay activist, let alone an LGBTQ+ one. Glad to see the end of him and hope he won’t be back. Shades of Roy Cohn, only out about it. How any self-respecting LGBTQ+ person could be a member of a homophobic, transphobic, ultra-conservative political party as The Liberals is impossible to get his head around.

  5. Wow, Melody already said it all. Only because you are gay doesn’t make you a gay person and not even a LGBT+ activist.
    Sure, Trent Zimmerman, Dave Sharma and other liberals who lost their seat against independents had good opinions. But how often did they fight for them and stood up for them? The voters not only wanted someone to say the right thing but fight for it.
    Tim Wilson in particular only has himself and his advantage on his agenda. Does nobody remember that he wrote most of the submissions into his own inquiry into the franking credit lie? Did he cross the floor on the protection of LGBT+ students?
    It’s a relief that he lost his seat. It’s better to have straight people doing the right thing like Bandt or Pocock than hypocrites like Wilson.

  6. Tim Wilson betrayed the LGBTIQ community again and again during his time in parliament.. He never opposed the anti trans hatefulness of the LNP. He made us go through the hatefulness of the plebiscite. Waiting for his apology for sleeping with the enemy, but it’s never going to happen. Begone!

  7. When Tim Wilson was Australia’s human rights commissioner, he was tripping over himself wanting to meet me and find out why things were better in Cairns for trans people than other parts of Australia. He asked me to organise a meeting here with the local Sexual Health Service and people from the trans community because he was starting a national ‘fact finding’ tour.

    More recently Tim Wilson has also been claiming that the LNP government supported marriage equality and it was one of their ‘achievements’ while in government. What a joke these types of claims are?

    The LNP only held a plebiscite in the hope that the majority of Australians would be opposed to same sex marriage and that would put the issue to rest. But it totally blew up in their face when the majority of Australians who took part in the survey said “Yes”.

    I was happy and excited for Tim when he proposed to his partner in parliament after the vote. For him the fight for gay rights was over. But for the trans community, the fight to defend what very few trans rights we do have was just getting started and it has been utter hell for the trans community ever since.

    I fought strongly for the gay community to make sure marriage equality became reality and so gay men like Tim could get married. But why doesn’t Tim Wilson feel like he needs to fight for trans rights?

    Not once did Tim Wilson ever speak out against Scott Morrison and his religious discrimination bill and he voted in support of it in parliament.

    Nor has he ever condemned the comments and motions made by Malcolm Roberts, Amanda Stoker and Claire Chandler and more recently Katherine Deves who have all consistently attack vulnerable trans women and kids who were especially being targeted and abused by politicians and kicked around as a soft and easy ‘political football’.

    Tim Wilson in my opinion really did drop the ball, not once but many times. So in my opinion he was just taking up space in government and it is better that he is now gone.

    The same can also be said about MP Warren Entsch who has also said very little to nothing about these attacks on trans women and children. And why is it that trans men are never brought up in these debates? Why do they get a free pass and trans women and kids don’t? Is it because trans men now have ‘male privilege” in our patriarchal misogynistic society?

    This type of trans misogynistic sexist bullshit really has to end. A good politician worth their salt should be fighting for the human rights of all women, trans women included!