Moira Deeming was “too risky” a candidate for Scott Morrison

The Victoria Liberals have selected Moira Deeming as a candidate for the upcoming state election. The Melton City Councilor is well known for her ant-transgender, anti-abortion and other hardline stances.

It’s now been revealed that Deeming was considered too risky a candidate for the federal election with the Prime Minister’s Office reportedly stepping in to knock her back as a candidate.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Deeming was picked to stand for the seat of Gorton, but later a top party official relayed that Scott Morrison’s office had been in touch declaring her “too risky” because of her outspoken views on Covid-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates.

The Liberal went on to pick John Fletcher as their candidate to run against Labor’s Brendan O’Connor. At the May election O’Connor comfortably retained the seat.

A week later the Prime Minister did handpick anti-transgender campaigner Katherine Deves to stand for the division of Warringah, but later said he was not fully aware of all of her previous comments about transgender people.

Moira Deeming is currently a councilor at the City of Melton. In 2020 she launched a campaign which saw her travelling across the state challenging other local government authorities on their policies relating to transgender people using public bathrooms.

“I will never support rates being used to promote radical policies like banning Australia Day, drag queen story times for toddlers, or letting biological males who identify as female use female toilets and change rooms.” Deeming said during her election campaign for council.

During her campaign against transgender people being able to access public restrooms Deeming visited all 79 local government jurisdiction in Victoria using public question time to advocate for her position requiring all public bathrooms to clearly state they were for “biological males” or “biological females”.

LGBTIQA+ advocates call for politicians to show greater respect to people who are transgender

Ghassan Kassisieh, Legal Director, Equality Australia told OUTinPerth that the ongoing political discussions about transgender people had the potential to cause genuine harm to people.   

“LGBTIQ+ Australians have higher rates of self-harm and suicidality than the general community, with almost one in two trans young people having attempted suicide. These shocking statistics are driven by the high rates of discrimination, harassment and abuse they experience.
“Whenever negative debates about the lives and dignity of LGBTIQ+ people take place, as we saw during the Religious Discrimination Bill debate and during the federal election campaign, support services for the LGBTIQ+ community see a massive increase in requests for support. This is particularly the case for our trans and gender diverse folk, our young people, and our people from multicultural or religious communities.” Kassisieh said.
“Our communities’ mental health is in crisis, and we’re simply asking that politicians stop using our lives as political footballs, regardless of which side of politics you’re on.

“Our research continually shows that the vast majority of the Australian community support equality, and support laws that protect LGBTIQ+ people from discrimination and harm. We call on all parties and candidates to listen to the community and work together to ensure all of us, including LGBTIQ+ people, can live full and free lives, without our value and dignity being a matter of constant public debate.”

Transgender Victoria has also called on politicians and the media to refrain from using the lives of people who are transgender as a political football.

“In politics and in journalism, there must be less dehumanisation and demonisation of trans and gender diverse people, and more respect for our dignity, equality and humanity,” a spokesperson told OUTinPerth.

“It is dismaying to see candidates with extreme and harmful views about trans and gender diverse people as candidates in any political party.”

Liberal leader Matthew Guy criticised for supporting Deeming’s selection

Victoria Liberal leader Matthew Guy has welcomed the selection of Moira Deeming as a candidate saying she has always put forward her views in a respectful manner.

Guy later stressed that Deeming had made her comments in the past and not while she was a candidate for the party.

“I didn’t see those and she certainly hasn’t made those comments as a candidate.” Guy told the media on Wednesday.

“I’ll make sure that any of my candidates and MPs have respectful comments on any of these issues. That’s what we’re focused on. People want to have discussions and debates, sure, but they must be respectful,” he said.

Guy has however drawn criticism from within the Liberal party for supporting the selection of Deeming as a candidate. Former Liberal MP Andrew Olexander says he is “angered” and “disappointed” with the party. Olexander said he was disappointed that the Liberal leader failed to condemn Deeming’s previous comments.

“I’m not surprised he didn’t, given my understanding of what the Liberal party in Victoria has become, but I’m deeply angered and so very disappointed,” he told Guardian Australia.

“I feel that the preselection of Ms Deeming is confirmation that the party is completely out of step with modern, progressive values here in Victoria.”

Olexander was expelled from the Liberal party in 2005 after he publicly spoke out against the party describing it as being run by homophobic extremists who were trying to purge it of moderate voices. He had lost his endorsement as a candidate the previous year following a drink driving accident.

OIP Staff


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