Katherine Deves apologises for calling trans people ‘mutilated’

NSW Liberal candidate Katherine Deves has apologised for comments she had previously made on social media, including references describing people who are transgender as being “surgically mutilated.”

The founder of Save Women’s Sport Australasia was hand picked by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to be the candidate for Warringah, the Sydney seat that is currently held by Independent Zali Steggall. Steggall ousted former Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the 2019 election.

Prior to the announcement that she would be the Liberal candidate for election Deves deleted all her social media accounts. Among the deleted posts was one where she shared an image of a transgender man who had undergone top surgery where she said, “They will not stand for seeing vulnerable children surgically mutilated and sterilised in furtherance of an unattainable idea.”

Another post saw Deves declare she was triggered by the Pride flag.

Since Deves launched new social media pages to publicise her campaign to enter parliament, the comments have been filled with posts featuring the emoji of the Pride flag.

“My advocacy for the rights and safety of women and girls is well known, and I stand by my desire to ensure we protect the safety of women and girls and our entire community,’’ Deves said today. “However, the language I used was not acceptable, and for that I apologise.”

The Prime Minister who had praised Deves “an outstanding individual” just a few days ago, said that Deves still had his support, but he did not support the language she had previously used and was unaware of her comments.

It hasn’t stopped there being calls for Deves to be disendorsed. Zali Steggall said the Liberals should dump Deves.

“The fact that she deleted her previous social media accounts shows that she knew just how toxic, ill-informed and offensive her comments and views were,” she said in a statement.

“Her appalling and divisive comments were well known before the Prime Minister selected her, which begs the question – what did he already know? He either knew her views and selected her anyway, or he wasn’t properly informed and made a flawed decision.

“It’s either deliberately offensive or a sign of incompetence.” Steggall said.

“Her personal selection as the Liberal candidate is a sad reflection on the moral compass of the Prime Minister. He made an appalling captain’s call and now should correct it by demonstrating some integrity and sacking her as a candidate.”

Allegra Spender, who is running as an Independent for the seat of Wentworth, called on the incumbent member Dave Sharma to speak out against Deves preselection.

“Katherine Deves’ comments about the LGBTQI+ community are unacceptable. This is what the Liberal Party has become. Dave Sharma should call for her to be sacked. If he doesn’t, he’s once again chosen his party over our community.” Spender said on Twitter. 

OIP Staff

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