NSW election 2023
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One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has condemned homophobic comments made by her NSW party leader Mark Latham, describing them as disgusting and demanding he apologise to voters.
Latham on Thursday morning tweeted a highly graphic and offensive comment aimed at Sydney independent MP Alex Greenwich, who is gay. The and The have chosen not to publish the words contained in the tweet.
In a video message posted to Facebook late on Thursday, a visibly angry Hanson said she had tried to call and text Latham “to no avail”.
“I want you to know that I don’t condone them [the comments] and neither do my members of parliament or party associates,” Hanson told her supporters.
“I think they are disgusting … and I have clearly sent a text message to him telling him my views and also I’ve asked for him to give the people an apology.”
The former federal Labor leader made the comments in response to a and article in which Greenwich called Latham “a disgusting human being”. The article was about LGBTQI protesters who were targeted outside a candidates’ forum which Latham addressed during the election campaign.
Latham deleted his tweet several hours later but his comments have drawn widespread condemnation.
The leader of the government in upper house Penny Sharpe said she was sickened by the homophobic comments.
Sharpe, the most senior Labor MP in the upper house, said LGBTQI people “see and hear these words. They have a terrible impact.”
“I was physically sickened by that tweet,” Sharpe said.
“Homophobia is always unacceptable and there is never an excuse. Mr Latham should apologise to Alex Greenwich immediately. ”
Latham will be reelected to the upper house after he resigned his spot to lead the One Nation ticket. However, the party will not get a second seat, as it had hoped.
Labor-turned-One Nation candidate Tania Mihailuk will fill the casual vacancy created by Latham’s resignation, which will see the party with three MPs in the upper house.
Latham was contacted for comment.
Greens Newtown MP Jenny Leong said “being an elected representative doesn’t give anyone a free pass to incite hatred.”
“The hate-filled homophobic bile spewed out by the former federal Labor leader, turned One Nation MP demonstrates clearly why no political party, nor independent, in the NSW parliament should work with this man,” Leong said.
“The Greens reject homophobia in all its forms and are committed to working with all elected members of parliament across the political spectrum who show respect for equality and recognise that we all collectively play a role in stamping out discrimination in our communities – One Nation clearly doesn’t meet this baseline.”
Greenwich said he did not “intend to engage with the matter further” but Latham’s comments further motivated him to fight for LGBTQ equality.
“My focus in the next parliament will be working with the majority of members who support the LGBTQ community to progress important reforms, remove discrimination, and make it clear these views belong in the past,” Greenwich said.
President of Anti-Discrimination NSW Helen McKenzie said society looked to its elected officials to show leadership.
“The behaviour of all public officials should be nothing short of exemplary. The public has the right to expect the highest standards from our parliamentarians,” she said.
“Homosexual vilification is against the law in NSW and is defined as a public act that could incite hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule towards people who are homosexual. Public acts include communications that can be seen by the public, such as online.”
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