Australia’s new deputy PM says he’ll host gay wedding in homophobia apology
Australia’s new deputy Prime Minister has said he will host a gay relative’s wedding to apologise for his previous homophobic columns.
Michael McCormack, appointed as deputy PM last week, penned homophobic editorials while editor of the Daily Advertiser newspaper in the 1990s.
In one column, written in 1992, McCormack called gay people “sordid,” while another in 1993 argued: “A week never goes by anymore that homosexuals and their sordid behaviour don’t become further entrenched in society.”
The editorial also referenced AIDS, adding: “Unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn’t wipe out humanity, they’re here to stay.”
In a fresh apology for the controversial comments, McCormack says he will happily attend a gay relative’s wedding ceremony and has offered to host it.
A spokesperson for the Just.equal campaigning group welcomed McCormack’s previous apologies but said that he also needed to “walk the walk.”
“He needs to get behind initiatives that will reduce the unacceptably high levels of LGBTI isolation, prejudice and suicide that still exist in some parts of rural Australia,” the group’s spokesperson Rodney Croome told the AAP.
It is not the first time that the New South Wales MP has distanced himself from his shocking comments.
“I have grown and learned not only to tolerate but to accept all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, or any other trait or feature which makes each of us different and unique,” he said in August.
He added: “Editorial views expressed more than 25 years ago in no way reflect how my views and community have changed since publication.”
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He voted for same-sex marriage in Australia’s postal vote on the issue last year after his constituents overwhelmingly backed it.
Mr. McCormack, the new leader of the National Party, has replaced Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister.
Mr Joyce stood down as leader of the National Party after it was revealed that he was having an affair with a former staffer.
The revelation was condemned by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is in coalition with the National Party, as a “shocking error of judgement.”