McCormack says he knows nothing about gay conversion therapy

Michael McCormack stepped into the role of Acting Prime Minister for the first time this week, and gave his first major speech since he took over as the leader of The Nationals.

Appearing at the National Press Club on Tuesday, McCormack spoke about the importance of regional communities and investment in infrastructure before taking questions from taking questions from the room full of journalists.

Given the newspapers had been filled with headlines about rugby player Israel Folau’s comments about his belief that God sends gay people “to hell”, coupled with McCormack’s own dubious history of comments on gay people, and that the Victoria branch of the Liberals had just nixed a discussion about supporting gay conversion therapy, it was fairly predictable that the second most powerful man in the land was going to be asked an LGBTI rights question.

Fairfax journalist Michael Koziol asked if McCormack was prepared to condemn the practice of gay conversion therapy.

The Acting Prime Minister said he couldn’t because he didn’t really know anything about the practice.

“I will be perfectly honest … I have not really looked into it enough to really make a view on it one way or the other,” McCormack said.

McCormack promised he’d find out more about the issue and get back to the reporter. He then went on to say it wasn’t an issue that people in his regional electorate had brought up with him, saying they were “more interested in making sure there are jobs there, making sure there’s downward pressure on the cost of living”.

Earlier this week Health Minister Greg Hunt had a fiery interview with Radio National host Patricia Karvelas where he denounced the practice of gay conversion therapy but argued that people have a right to promote it’s practice under ‘freedom of speech’.

OIP Staff

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