Unions desert Katter Party
The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) has withdrawn it support from Bob Katter’s Australia Party (KAP) after a homophobic TV ad caused “considerable distress” among members.
The ad in question taunted Queensland Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman over his vocal support for same-sex marriage. The KAP also suggested it would repeal Queensland’s newly-enacted civil unions legislation.
“The QCU supports legislative reforms that enable fair access and rights to the legal and social recognition established by civil unions,” QCU President John Battams said in a statement.
“The Civil Partnerships Act 2011 is a good example of action taken by governments that believe in equality.”
“The QCU and its affiliated unions, representing more than 350,000 Queensland workers and their families, totally rejects the misleading and homophobic depiction of same-sex couples in these advertisements,” he said.
Union member Shannon Michaels told the press repealing the civil unions legislation would strip her of her workplace rights, such as the financial security her partner could expect if Michaels was hurt or killed at work.
“If these laws are repealed then any certainty my partner had of receiving my super or compensation payments disappears,” Michaels said.
“It’s unfair and an attack on our civil and workplace rights.”
Several members of the KAP quickly moved to distance themselves from the TV adverts, saying they were unaware of what was intended until seeing the ads on TV for themselves. Other members of the party have voiced their support for civil unions.
KAP’s Noosa candidate Bob Jarvis apologised for the advertisement, saying although he didn’t support marriage equality, he thought the ad was offensive.
I am really sorry that people were offended by it," Mr Jarvis said.
"I don't think you should put an ad on TV that offends people."
Meanwhile Loree Rudd, sister of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has backed the KAP stance, saying she would hand out how-to-vote cards for the party.
Loree Rudd made headlines by resigning from the Labor Party last year after delegates at the national conference endorsed marriage equality as part of the Labor Party platform.
She has told the press she believes there is a “homosexual campaign” which is "subtle, clever, sophisticated, organised, financially wealthy and wants to go as slow as possible to achieve its end: control of the minds of future generations."
She said she would vote for her local KAP candidate and would not vote for the LNP because she did not “trust” them to repeal civil unions.