LNP candidate Garth Hamilton’s article on “absent fathers” disappears

An article outlining an LNP candidate’s views on single parent families, First Nations people and the Black Lives Matter movement has disappeared from the website of The Spectator Australia.

Garth Hamilton is the Liberal National Party’s candidate for the upcoming by-election for the seat of Groom in Queensland. He was the unexpected winner of the pre-selection battle which was held on Sunday 25th October.

Hamilton was endorsed by the party after impressing pre-selectors in the tightly fought battle which many had predicted would be won by traditional marriage campaigner Dr David van Gend.

Not much was known about Hamilton, the Mining Engineer and self described family man, but he reportedly won party selectors over with his presentation and a selection of articles he wrote for The Spectator. 

Hamilton has written frequently for the conservative magazine praising Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton, sharing his thoughts on how China is a threat to Australian values, and having a go at Greta Thunberg.

He also shared his thoughts single parent families and his advice for Aboriginal Australians in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement. In an article titled Absent Fathers Matter published on 6th June 2020, Hamilton shared his advice for supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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.”

Hamilton did not provide any source for his statistics, but they 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.

OUTinPerth reached out to the Liberal National Party to ask if Garth Hamilton could outline his views on single parent families. We also asked, if elected, if he would be relying on the latest research to make decisions rather the reports that are four decades old?

We did not receive a response. The article has however been removed from the website of The Spectator Australia. 

We also asked if the candidate could expand on his statements regarding the Black Lives Matter movements and his parenting advice for Aboriginal Australians.

In the now deleted article, Hamilton said if the movement wanted to be taken seriously, first Black fathers should make sure they remain in the home with their children.

“If the Black Lives Matter movement wants to be taken seriously then it should demonstrate a commitment to their own cause. Black fathers need to show that black lives matter and stay at home with their kids.” Hamilton said.

“Both Aboriginals and African Americans are far more likely to be raised without the presence of a father than white Australians or Americans.”

“It is very easy to protest when you want someone else to change. It is very difficult to protest when you hold the keys to your own future.” Hamilton said.

OUTinPerth has contacted Garth Hamilton, the Liberal National Party, and The Spectator Australia for comment but did not receive any responses.

UPDATE: 05-11-20 The LNP has provided comment, a spokesperson for the party said Hamilton’s article was sharing his views on how to improve disadvantaged communities. 

“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.”

Graeme Watson

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