Liberal Candidate Resigns After 'Appalling' Gay Comments, Criticism Of Tim Wilson
Yet another election hopeful is in hot water, resigning from after comments about "homosexual lifestyle" carrying appalling health risks", in the latest outrageous online comment to stir controversy this campaign.
Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Wills, Peter Killin, made a submission to the Ruddock review into religious freedom in which he wrote about the "dangers" posed by gay people.
On Wednesday, just hours after the comments came to light, he resigned as the Liberal candidate.
In the submission, he spoke of "the dangers and health risks" of being homosexual. Killin also lamented the fact he was not at the preselection for Liberal MP Tim Wilson so he could have ensured there was "no homosexual MP".
Wilson famously proposed to his partner on the floor of parliament in 2017 during the marriage equality debate.
On Wednesday, Killin apologised for the comments but refused to stand aside from the election race.
"My comments were wrong and I apologise unreservedly for making them," Killin said in a statement.
The Liberal Party has not yet signalled whether action will be taken against Killin.
It's the latest scandalous social media post from an election candidate to come to light, after a week in which another Liberal candidate was disendorsed for his anti-Muslim comments, other Liberals were found to have made disparaging remarks about women, a Labor candidate was dumped for sharing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, another Labor candidate got in hot water for sharing questionable posts, and One Nation's Steve Dickson resigned after a strip club video was aired.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten earlier claimed the Liberal Party had been gripped by "complete Islamophobia" and was "riddled" with far-right extremists, following several controversial incidents.
West Australian MP Ian Goodenough has admitted to meeting a white supremacist, while candidate Jeremy Hearn was dumped as candidate for the Melbourne seat of Isaacs after "appalling" comments about Muslims came to light.
In an interview with The Guardian, West Australian MP Goodenough confirmed he met far right extremist and convicted criminal Neil Erikson.
Erikson claims he also met Liberal MP Andrew Hastie at a rally in support of white South African farmers, which Hastie denied.
"Ian Goodenough, Andrew Hastie, the Liberal Party, do not share any of the values of that particular individual," Coalition minister Alan Tudge told Sky News on Wednesday.
"That individual has extreme values which should be given no countenance, no oxygen, and we do not share his values."
Hearn was dropped from the Liberal Party after previous comments were discovered where he claimed Muslims were people of "bad character" who should be denied Australian citizenship. He also accused Muslims of wanting sharia law in Australia and called for taxpayers to stop funding Islamic schools.
Hearn wrote that "a Muslim is a person who subscribes to an ideology which requires ... the killing or enslavement of the citizens of Australia if they do not become Muslim". He also claimed Muslims were "lying about their purposes to conceal their activities" and questioned: "How can a person holding such beliefs honestly swear allegiance to the Queen and her government in Australia?"
"No oath of allegiance from a person following such an ideology can or should be accepted by the Australian government under the current law. They are clearly people of bad character," he wrote in the post which is still published online.
Hearn admitted on Tuesday that the "comments were entirely wrong" and that he apologised "unreservedly for them". But early on Wednesday, the party formally cut him adrift.
"There is no place in the party for people with these views," treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Herald Sun.
"Those views don't represent the views of the Liberal Party," Tudge added.
Feature photo: Liberal Party