Liberals dismiss candidates comments on “homosexual lobby”

The Liberal party says comments attributed to a candidate running for the Upper House about the “homosexual lobby” do not reflect his current views.

Phil Twiss is unlikely to be elected on March 13, but the party has been forced to defend a number of online comments made by a person with the same name, the comments were highlighted by The West Australian. The party says to suggest that the statements reflect their candidate’s current views is defamatory.

“The decade-old comments on an obscure online blog in no way reflect the current views of Mr Twiss. To suggest otherwise is simply untrue and defamatory.” an official for the party told The West Australian in response to their inquiries.

The newspaper reported that a series of comments were made by a person called “Phil Twiss” on the website Culture Watch, which is run by Christian conservative commentator Bill Muehlenberg. The comments were posted between 2009 and 2011.  Twiss previously was a candidate for the Australian Christians at the 2106 federal election, but has since switched allegiances to the Liberals.

While the party spokesperson described the Culture Watch website as an obscure blog, people actively engaged in LGBTI political debate are very familiar with the site and it’s author. Muehlenberg often shares his negative views about the queer community and transgender rights. He has previously been a guest speaker at the Victory Life Centre in Perth, the church run by former Tennis player Margaret Court.

On the Culture Watch website a person posting under the name Phil Twiss shared his views after Muehleberg wrote about schools becoming a place of  “politically correct propaganda and indoctrination”. The comments said the “the “monopolistic left-wing and secularist ideology dominates already to the point it is almost impossible to find a teacher who has not been thoroughly indoctrinated into this world view”.

On another post a year later a commenter named Phil Twiss urged a mother to remove her son from the education system when she shared she was concerned her son was “being brainwashed into being gay”.

“Many Christian families are now making sacrifices to both protect their children from indoctrination hostile to their faith and withdrawing their support from schools and other organisations that would attempt to destroy the Christian foundations of the West,” the commenter using the name Phil Twiss wrote. “This is not just something that just you need to do but every Christian parent who wishes to raise godly children and be part of the making disciples of the nations.”

In 2011 another comment said Christians needed to claim back the rainbow from the homosexual lobby, saying the gay community had usurped a symbol of God’s mercy.

During the campaign the Liberal party has had to clarify comments made by candidates on several occasions. In January the party dumped Andrea Tokaji after it was highlighted she’s written about Covid-19 be linked to the rollout of 5G telephone technology.

The party also had to defend Victoria Park candidate Amanda-Sue Markham whose husband had made several negative statements about LGBTIQ people. Markham said her views were separate to those of her spouse, and she’d outlined what her views were when she’d previously run for the Liberals in Tasmania.

More recently candidate Dave Nesbit, who is running for the seat of Upper Swan, promoted the use of an unapproved anti-parasite drug for treating Covid-19.

OIP Staff

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