Calls for McGowan and Kirkup to explain LGBTI+ policies

LGBTI rights group just.equal are calling on the leaders of both major political parties to outline what their stance is on major issue of concern to LGBTI voters.

The demand comes Liberal leader Zak Kirkup closed down questions from the media about the party’s candidate for Victoria Park, Amanda-Sue Markham, and her views on homosexuality.

Markham is a nurse and the wife of Christian pastor Campbell Markham who has written and spoken extensively about his views on homosexuality, and marriage.

In his 2015 Who Should I Marry? – Campbell Markham wrote that a Christian man would only marry a woman who would submit to her husband.

On his website he has published articles saying that homosexual people can be “cleansed” and that they “lead a dangerous lifestyle.” While on another occasion Pastor Markham argued that gay people should not be allowed to raise children, suggesting it was a contravention of the United Nation’s declaration on the rights of a child.

Amanda-Sue Markham has previously run for the Liberals in Tasmania the 2016 and 2019 federal elections, she was previously a candidate for Fred  Nile’s Christian Democrats in the 2001 Western Australian election.

In 2012 after relocating to Tasmania she switched political allegiances to the Liberals, around the same time she was also a spokesperson for the Save Marriage Coalition, a group that campaigned against marriage equality.

WA Spokesman for LGBTI lobby group Just-Equal, Brian Greig, said by the Liberal Party endorsing Markham as a candidate they have brought sharp focus to three main issues concerning the LGBTI community this election.

“Ms Markham has been identified as a former member of Tasmania’s “Save Marriage Coalition,” an anti-LGBTI group which campaigned against marriage equality in 2017.

“Ms Markham has also attacked the Safe Schools program designed to protect LGBTI students from bullying.

“Ms Markham is married to anti-gay Presbyterian Pastor Campbell Markham who claims that homosexuals can be “cleansed” of their “gay lifestyle”, which he says ‘is distressingly dangerous and has appalling health risks’.”

The rights group also highlights that Pastor Markham was also the subject of a complaint for hate-speech in Tasmania 2017, when his online blog alluded to killing same-sex parents by quoting a Bible verse about drowning people with millstones.

Brian Greig said the LGBTI community wants to know where the Government and Opposition stand on banning gay conversion practices, funding for Inclusive Education and the introduction of hate speech laws to protect LGBTI people.

“Just_Equal wrote to all political parties on 15 December with a survey of six core questions, asking each leader to explain their LGBTI policies for the next term of government.

“Only the Greens have responded. We are still waiting to hear from the Premier and Opposition Leader.

“In light of the issues the Liberal party have raised through their candidate for Victoria Park – where do the major parties stand on LGBTI law reform?

“Will Premier McGowan and Opposition Leader Zak Kirup ban homosexual conversion practices?

“Will they stop religious schools sacking gay teachers?” Brian Greig asked.

The six questions covered in Just_Equal’s survey included:

  • Banning gay conversion practices
  • Stopping faith schools from expelling gay students and sacking gay teachers
  • Introducing hate-speech laws for LGBTI’s
  • Transgender law reform (allowing trans people to change ID without surgery)
  • Intersex law reform (banning non-consensual surgery)
  • Funding the Inclusive Education program

Greig urged all parties in receipt of the survey to respond well before the election so policy positions could be scrutinised by voters.

“WA has fallen behind other states on a range of LGBTI legal reforms and this election is an opportunity to set things right for equality and inclusion,” he said.

OIP Staff

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