Katter regrets ads as daughter regrets name
Notorious for his anti-gay views, federal Independent MP Bob Katter now regrets ever allowing followers in his Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) to air homophobic advertisements prior to this year’s Queensland state election.
The far North Queensland MP’s admission comes as his Sydney-based daughter told a major newspaper over the weekend that although she found it difficult to live under her father’s shadow she would welcome her own children living an “alternative lifestyle, or wanting to have a partner who is not mainstream”.
Speaking at a special Sydney Writers Festival event alongside former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Sunday, May 20, Katter said the decision to air the ad, which featured partly-pixellated images of two shirtless men embracing, was a “political mistake” he would “carry for the rest of my days”.
They were a “simple example of insensitivity” and a “crowning glory of all mistakes”, the Kennedy MP added.
“This was a political mistake of major proportions,” Katter said.
“I let the ad go and I suppose in that sense that will be one of the regrets I'll carry for the rest of my days.”
The commercial was intended to attack LNP Leader Campbell Newman’s personal support for same-sex marriage and aired less than two weeks out from the March 24 Queensland state election.
It also included video of Newman handling a skirt as well as repeated grabs of him stating, “I support gay marriage”.
The forum on Sunday featuring Rudd was held to explore Katter’s new book, An Incredible Race of People: A Passionate History of Australia.
Rudd, who recently resigned as Foreign Minister, told the audience the KAP ads were homophobic.
"The campaign about sexuality wasn’t exactly about same sex marriage,” Rudd said.
“It was a fair bit rougher than that.”
Later during the forum Katter provoked loud boos from the audience after angrily refusing to answer a question on same-sex marriage.
“Lady, I love your question,” he said.
“I’m really not going to take any more questions on it because I’m very short-tempered.
“You are preoccupied with some little thing that comes in from America.”
Meanwhile, Katter’s 37-year-old daughter, Caroline Coupland, told the Sunday Telegraph over the weekend her father’s prominence was a “poisoned chalice” and she would be moving to regional NSW after being recently found guilty of assaulting her children’s kindergarten teacher.
The ASIC lawyer said she would relocate to New England in a bid to re-start life as a farmer and give her three young daughters some space away from the limelight.
“Being Bob Katter’s daughter and a Mosman mother, I never had a chance,” Coupland said.
“It’s not a very fun life having people like you because of who your father is -- or dislike you because of who your father is.
“I couldn’t wait to change my name when we got married.”
Coupland also hinted in the interview that she might not share her famous father’s opinions on homosexuality.
“I want them (daughters) to be who they are without any unnatural stress,” she said.
“The girls might grow up wanting an alternative lifestyle, or wanting to have a partner who is not mainstream, and if that’s what they want to do, I want them to grow up to be the person they want to be.”