Katter party ad prompts outrage
Widespread community outrage and a backlash on social media networks has greeted the airing of a “homophobic” anti-gay marriage ad by Katter’s Australian Party in Queensland overnight attacking LNP Leader Campbell Newman, with some including Bob Katter’s half-brother calling it “desperate” and “disrespectful” while others have suggested it will only appeal to “rednecks”.
WATCH THE AD BELOW
The ad aired for the first time last night less than two weeks from the Queensland election, which Newman’s party is tipped to win.
It shows two shirtless men holding each other and includes video of Newman handling a skirt and repeated grabs of him stating, “I support gay marriage”.
“How well do you really know Campbell Newman?” a voice asks in the advertisement.
“Do you really think he will stand up for your family values? Do you really think he will stand up to the Greens and other minority groups?
“Then think again. The LNP leader supports gay marriage just like Greens leader Bob Brown.”
The State Leader of Katter’s Australian Party, Aidan McLindon, told the ABC that his Twitter and Facebook accounts had been bombarded since the ad aired.
“It is controversial and we have certainly copped a lot of flak,” he said.
“But at the end of the day we are a party that stands for something. Unfortunately what you have seen with Campbell Newman he has tried to be everything for everybody and as a result he stands for nothing.”
Melbourne-based gay activist Carl Katter, said the party founded by his half-brother in only June last year was engaging in the politics of fear and hate to win votes in their home state.
“This ad ignores the high level of support for marriage equality in Queensland, and is totally disrespectful of the many gay Queenslanders who proudly contribute to their state every day of their lives,” he said.
This isn't the first time Katter or his newly founded party have been involved in attacks on the LGBT community.
Only last month, McLindon was rebuked and criticised after he tried to wrongly link Newman to funding for the Rip & Roll gay safe-sex campaign run by leading Queensland LGBT health association Healthy Communities last year.
While last year, Katter drew widespread ire after telling an Australian Christian Lobby forum outside federal Parliament House that marriage equality "deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed".
Healthy Communities executive director, Paul R Martin, today said that Katter's Australian Party was more like a hate group.
“Katter’s Hate Group is stomping on the lives of gay and lesbian families to try and score cheap political points” Martin said.
“It’s not worthy of a serious political party in the 21st century.”
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh called the ad “bizarre and confused” but added that Newman was likely to repeal the state’s newly enacted civil unions laws despite his own support for marriage equality at a federal level.
“It’s a very strange attack from the Bob Katter Party – it’s not only tasteless but politically very confused,” Bligh said.
“While Mr Newman has publicly said he supports gay marriage, he and his party have universally opposed civil unions in the Parliament and he's now promised to repeal ALP's civil union laws if he is elected.”
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) national spokeswoman, Shelley Argent, said the advertisement was misleading “gutter politics” targeted to appeal to “rednecks”.
“To be saying that a vote for the LNP is a vote for gay marriage, shows that whoever put that ad together has not been listening to Campbell Newman, because the gay community very much fears that if he is elected their rights will be repealed,” Argent said.
“In one sense, [Bob Katter’s] doing others a favour because he’s shooting himself in the foot.”
Meanwhile, it was revealed yesterday that billionaire James Packer only last week donated $250,000 to Katter’s Australian Party towards its election war chest.
A further $50,000 was also recently given by Macquarie Radio Network owner John Mr Singleton to the party which intends to field 76 candidates in the state’s 89 seats on the March 24 election.
“The Packers have always been our people,” Katter said. “There is no surprise to have this support for our patriotic line of defending Australia and Australian industry.”
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