Garth Hamilton says disadvantaged communities benefit when fathers stay involved

The LNP’s candidate for the upcoming by-election for the Queensland seat of Groom has responded to some of OUTinPerth’s queries about his now deleted Spectator article that shared his views on the Black Lives Matter movement and single parent families.

A spokesperson for the Liberal National Party said in his article Hamilton was expressing his view on the importance of fathers being involved in their children’s lives.

“In his Spectator article, Garth was making a point about the importance of fathers being involved in their children’s lives, wherever possible, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

“Garth was expressing his concern about how we can give all children the best start in life – and that requires the active engagement and involvement of parents and family.

“If elected as the Member for Groom he will work hard to represent, and deliver for, the whole community.”

The spokesperson did not provide a response to questions about whether Hamilton or his party had asked for the article to be removed from The Spectator site. They also chose not to comment on where the statistics in his article were sourced.

In his article, that was published back in June, Hamilton wrote that he was astonished that protesters in America and Australia who were “complaining” about Black people’s relationship with the law were not focusing on the issue of Black fathers who were not present in their children’s lives.

Claiming that children raised without the father in the household were more likely to become high school drop outs, be the perpetrators of crime and use illicit drugs, Hamilton said a “leftist agenda” was responsible for removing support for traditional families.

“Girls who grew up with absent fathers are more likely to suffer depression as adults. In the US 71% of high school dropouts are fatherless. Boys who grow up without fathers in their house are more likely to struggle academically and be absent from school.” Hamilton said.

“Fatherless children are far more likely to use illicit substances at a young age. Research dating back to the 1800s shows a clear link between absent fathers and crime rates among their children.

“Although these facts buck the leftist agenda of removing government support for traditional families, these facts cannot be ignored.

The series of claims about education, crime, mental health and drug use is often cited on men’s rights web sites. They were also used in a Father’s Day advertising campaign from the Marriage Alliance in 2015 who arguing against allowing same-sex marriage.

The claim that 71% of high school drop outs are from single mother families is widely believed to be from a 40 year old report. In 1980 the US based National Association of Elementary School Principals and the Institute for Development of Educational Activities published the report One Parent Families and Their Children: The School’s Most Significant Minority.

The by-election for the seat of Groom will be held on 28th November.

Graeme Watson

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