A South Australian Rainbow Labor member has dismissed concerns over comments made about the Senate ticket shake-up involving openly-gay Finance Minister Penny Wong. Last weekend, the SA Labor Party convention voted Senator Don Farrell to replace Wong in the top position on the state’s Senate ticket.

Wakefield MP Nick Champion defended Farrell, saying he was proud to have voted for him at the convention as he represented “traditional Labor”, while the cabinet minister was from “progressive Labor”.

Farrell came under intense scrutiny for the move and announced on Tuesday that he would swap places with Wong.  Rainbow Labor SA co-convenor Thomas Mooney rejected any notion that Champion’s comments were about Wong’s sexuality. He said the Wakefield MP had supported the recent marriage equality legislation in Federal Parliament and did not believe that Champion’s comments were homophobic at all.

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