Australian politics has been in an uproar over the last couple of days after a far-right politician tweeted a vile message to a gay MP.
Mark Latham is the leader of the NSW One Nation group. Latham was formerly a member of the Australian Labor Party and was leader of the opposition for a couple of years in the 00s. As such, he still enjoys a high profile in the country.
Alex Greenwich is a gay, Independent MP in Sydney.
Last week, a group of around a dozen LGBTQ+ protestors gathered outside a Sydney church where Latham gave a speech. The group pleaded with police to escort them to safety when they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of counter-protesters.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Greenwich said, “Mark Latham is a disgusting human being and people who are considering voting for One Nation need to realize they are voting for an extremely hateful and dangerous individual.”
Latham was quick to respond. Yesterday morning he posted a tweet saying, “Disgusting? How does that compare with sticking your d* up a bloke’s a* and covering it with sh*t?”
Latham later deleted the tweet, but the clap back against it has been fierce. His comments have been widely condemned across the political spectrum.
Today, New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said, “I think that they’re vile and shameful comments and I think (Mr Latham) revealed himself to be a bigot.”
New South Wales environment secretary Penny Sharpe said the tweet left her “physically sickened.”
Alex Greenwich responds to comments from Mark Latham
Greenwich told reporters today he was shocked and upset at first.
“This has obviously been hurtful for me. I had a bit of a cry late yesterday at the end of the day. After being in this gig for a decade and getting re-elected, I didn’t think I’d still be subjected to homophobic abuse.”
Yesterday he posted a defiant tweet… showing off his handsome husband an promising to continue fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.
“For those wondering how I’m doing after Latham’s homophobic attacks today, I’m fine and I’m more motivated than ever to deliver long overdue LGBTIQA+ reforms… and I have the most handsome husband.”
Greenwich said today, “I’ve described [Latham] as a cruel and lazy person. I don’t intend to engage with the content of the tweet, nor do I intend to really engage with him in the next parliament.”
The nationwide leader of the One Nation party is Pauline Hanson. She was a leading campaigner against same-sex marriage in Australia when the issue went to a public vote. However, even she said Latham’s comments crossed a line and he needed to apologize.
“I want you to know that I don’t condone them [the comments] and neither do my members of parliament or party associates,” she said in a video posted to social media.
“I think they are disgusting.”
“I’ve actually tried to ring Mark a couple of times, to no avail, and I have clearly sent a text message to him telling him my views and also I’ve asked him to give the people an apology,” she said.
“I will leave it at that. It is now over to Mark to answer the people.”
Mark Latham has not responded to the controversy or demands that he apologize for his vile online behavior.
Fact check: Mark Latham was the National leader of the Australian Labor Party for a brief time and when it was in opposition. However, the Labor Party is a left wing party with ties to the union movement and broad socialist principles. For some reason (probably personal bitterness) after Latham got dumped as Labor Leader he defected to the right wing crazy could not organise a root in a brothel maga like One Nation Party. From here he has little/no influence thank God on public policy.
Yes, I thought that “Labor = right wing” (oh Queerty) bit sounded wrong so thanks for clearing that up.