Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended Liberal candidate Gladys Liu, after a recording revealed her making anti-LGBT comments.
Gladys Liu, who is the Liberal candidate for the key marginal seat of Chisholm in the Australian House of Representatives, came under fire ahead of the federal election in May.
Liberal candidate Gladys Liu: Chinese people think same-sex marriage is ‘against normal practice’
Guardian Australia revealed that Liu claimed in a 2016 interview: “A lot of Chinese parents, they do not agree with letting boys go into a girls’ toilets. Not only toilets, it’s also the crossdressing, the introduction of transgender. It is something they found difficult to accept.
“The second thing is same-sex marriage… that is their belief that same-sex is against normal practice.
“Chinese people come to Australia because they want a good education for their children… not to be destroyed by these sort of concepts of same-sex, transgender, intergender, crossgender and all this rubbish. To them, this is ridiculous rubbish.”
Liu, who ran a 2016 campaign on Chinese-language app WeChat targeted against LGBT+ rights, told The Australian she had been “misrepresented” and hit out at the “fake” coverage, claiming she had simply been outlining “what I had heard from the Chinese community.”
She was backed up by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who told the Canberra Times that he was proud to launch her campaign, praising her “amazing Australian life.”
Morrison, who himself opposed same-sex marriage, added: “As she said at the time when she was campaigning for the previous Liberal candidate, and now current member in Chisholm, she was simply saying that these were the views of that community.”
Newspaper releases interview recording after Prime Minister questions report
However, Guardian Australia has since released a recording of the interview and stands by the initial report.
Opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten questioned Morrison’s leadership.
He said:”He needs to make up his mind on a couple of questions. [One], whether he wants as a candidate for the Liberal Party someone who said such hurtful things about her fellow Australians.
“And two, whether he wants as a candidate for the Liberal Party someone who stood in front of the media and said it didn’t happen when clearly it did.”
Chisholm Labor candidate Jennifer Yang, who was born in Taiwan, has also hit out at the candidate’s views.
Yang condemned Liu for making an “abhorrent” generalisation about the views of Chinese people.