Catherine McGregor says her friendship with Tony Abbott is over

Political commentator, and former military officer, Catherine McGregor has declared her friendship with Tony Abbott is over after his recent disparaging comments about transgender people.

McGregor said she had no doubt Abbott had firmly held views about marriage, but suggested that “lurking” behind his prominent support for the ‘No’ campaign was a hope he’d eventually be returned as Prime Minister.

During an appearance on the ABC program The Drum, McGregor was discussing an opinion piece Abbott wrote for a newspaper last week. McGregor said she had no issue with the former Prime Minister’s views opposing marriage equality, but criticised his comments about transgender Australians.

“He supports traditional marriage and I respect his view on that, but he did however gratuitously roped in the question of gender fluidity and made the remark that ‘a man can’t be a woman merely by wishing it so.’

“Now I don’t even disagree with him on that, I’ve never insisted I’m a woman, I’ve always defined myself as a trans woman, but I’m wondering where the Tony Abbott who introduced my edition of Australian Story has gone?” McGregor said.

McGregor said Abbott had gone from being the man who paid tribute to the struggle that she had gone through with her gender transition to someone who was known using trans people and kids as “whipping people” to make a political point about same sex marriage.

“I’ve found this to be an incredibly dispiriting debate, and for someone, who until this week, I considered a very loyal stalwart friend who had stood by me through a very arduous and distressing period of my life, I felt pretty distressed and hurt by that.” McGregor said.

“I thought it was gratuitous, and I thought it showed he was willing to reach to a pretty low level to make his case for the Prime Minister-ship.”

McGregor said she believed Abbott was genuine in his support for traditional marriage, but lurking behind that was a hope he’d be returned to his former role.

“He’s kicking a lot of very innocent people quite extraneously, who have absolutely nothing to do with the question.”

OIP Staff

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