Politics

A Federal Minister Has Been Forced To Apologise For Anti-Gay Comments

So much for a "respectful debate".

It’s week one of the promised “respectful debate” on LGBTQI+ Australians’ rights, and already one of the ministers responsible for overseeing the postal plebiscite has had to apologise for writing a bunch of homophobic stuff in a newspaper editorial back in 1993.

Michael McCormack, the minister responsible for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the agency conducting the plebiscite, wrote in Wagga Wagga’s Daily Advertiser that gay people engage in “sordid behaviour” and unnatural acts. He also blamed gay people for the AIDS crisis, writing that “unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn’t wipe out humanity, they’re here to stay”.

Well yeah, Michael, the gays are here, this time to call you out for your crappy bigotry.

McCormack has apologised for the comments in past, and released another apology today saying that “I wrote this editorial nearly 25 years ago and I want to assure the public that my views have changed quite significantly since the time of publication.”

“I want all Australians to show each other the respect that they deserve and embrace the things that make us all unique. I have grown and I hope others can do the same,” he said.

McCormack’s apology stopped short of actually telling Australians to support gay people, and he encouraged “every Australian to have their say in the upcoming survey”, as if a plebiscite on people’s human rights is just a basic SurveyMonkey poll.

For obvious reasons, some people are not totally persuaded that it’s okay for someone who once trumpeted these views to be overseeing the Australian Bureau of Statistics for this plebiscite, apology or no. This morning, Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne called McCormack’s past views “not acceptable in modern society”.

Anyway, much like with the plebiscite itself, there’s not a lot we can do. How good is this plebiscite gonna be??