Australian MP and party leader Bob Katter has said that homosexuality is “a fashion trend.”
The 73-year-old head of Katter’s Australia Party said that it had become “popular” to be gay following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2017, which he voted against.
“It’s just like a fashion trend—tomorrow there’ll be another fashion”
— Bob Katter
Katter, who has sat in the House of Representatives since 1993, added: “In my whole life up to 50, I had never seen or heard of a homosexual person,” according to Queensland newspaper The Morning Bulletin.
“Now it’s fashionable, it’s just like a fashion trend—tomorrow there’ll be another fashion,” he continued.
“I just don’t want to waste any time on it.”
The politician, whose fringe hardline party holds three seats in the Queensland Parliament as well as his House seat, also called anti-bullying campaigns at schools “controversial.”
“Pro-homosexual, is the way I would describe the ‘stop bullying’ campaign,” he said.
Bob Katter has lashed out at gay people before
Katter has a history of using his platform as a party leader to abuse LGBT+ people.
The MP for Kennedy launched a series of verbal attacks in the build-up to Australia’s postal vote on same-sex marriage, which ended in a landslide victory for the ‘Yes’ side.
In August 2017, he accused queer people of taking the word ‘gay’ from straight people.
In an interview with Sky News, he said: “Homosexual groupings in Australia, they took the word ‘gay’.”
Katter recalled that while he was in school, he read an Alexander Pope poem which used the word and “conjured up a beautiful image.
“It was the most beautiful word in the English, and they said, ‘oh good we’ll take that word and we’ll have it as ours!’”
He added that now, gay people intended to take another word: marriage.
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“‘Oh, they’ve got this thing called marriage, the other mob, we’ll take that too!’” said Katter.
“What else are they going to take? Are they going to take our freedom to say we don’t approve of what you’re doing?”
Bob Katter has accused gay people of increasing murder and suicide rates
When Australia voted in favour of same-sex marriage by a huge margin, Katter appeared to compare the exchanging of vows between two people to being eaten by a crocodile.
In a press conference, he said: “I ain’t spending any time on it, because in the meantime, every three months, a person is torn to pieces by a crocodile in North Queensland.”
Just weeks later, the MP shocked the House of Representatives by going on a tirade in which he said LGBT+ people had only existed for 60 years.
This was compared to human beings, he said, who “have been around for 3.5 million years.”
Katter also accused gay people of killing children by donating infected blood and said that “homosexual behaviour” was responsible for suicides in the country.
“There’s no doubt there is a DNA thing there, and some people can handle it but a lot of people can’t,” he told the chamber.
“There is a very, very ugly side to this, where the curtain comes down and we’re not allowed to talk about it.”