Concerns over Liberal Eden-Monaro candidate’s anti-LGBTIQ+ past

The Liberal Party candidate in the upcoming by-election for the New South Wales seat of Eden-Monaro has raised concerns over her past of campaigning against LGBTIQ+ communities, as well as her stance on climate change.

The Guardian has highlighted that Fiona Kotvojs, who will be up against Labor’s Kristy McBain in Saturday’s election, was part of a 2018 submission to the government’s Ruddock Review into religious freedom, arguing against same-gender marriage and LGBTIQ+ inclusive education.

The submission calls for parents to be able to withdraw children from classes teaching “radical LGBTIQ sex and gender theory”, argues that religious schools and organisations should “be allowed to positively discriminate in employment for people who adhere to their beliefs on marriage,” and asks to amend state and federal anti-discrimination laws “to ensure no-one can be prosecuted for expressing the view that marriage in between one man and one woman.”

Veteran LGBTIQ+ advocate and spokesperson for just.equal Rodney Croome told The Guardian that he believes it is “abhorrent that a major party candidate believes a commercial service should be allowed to discriminate on the ground of religion.”

“Over the last half century, anti-discrimination laws have helped make Australia a fairer and more inclusive society,” Croome adds, speaking to OUTinPerth.

“We should be strengthening anti-discrimination laws, not watering them down as Fiona Kotvojs seems to want.”

Chief Executive of national LGBTIQ+ advocacy group Equality Australia, Anna Brown, adds that the Eden-Monaro electorate voted resoundingly in favour of marriage equality.

“The parliament explicitly rejected proposals to allow businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples,” Brown said.

“We hope that Fiona Kotvojs’s position has evolved… Australia needs politicians to focus on rebuilding communities impacted by bushfires and COVID-19 and ensure that no one is left behind, including LGBTIQ+ people.”

This Saturday’s by-election follows the resignation of outgoing Labor member Mike Kelly, who resigned in April citing health concerns.

OIP Staff

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