PM stands by Katherine Deves as her previous comments pile up

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out disendorsing Warringah candidate Katherine Deves, saying people should focus on her core argument about ‘protecting women’s sport’.

“Katherine is passionate about the issue of women and girls in sport, and I think the position that she’s set out on that issue is one that I think finds a lot of resonance with Australians who just want common sense to apply in this situation, and for it not to be turned into a broader debate about other issues which I think distract from the main point which is women and girls in sport.

The Prime Minister ignored questions asking Deves had been muzzled by the campaign and stopped from speaking to the media. The PM said she was busy campaigning.

Deves pulled out of a meet the candidate event in Warringah earlier this week, and also turned down an invitation to appear on the SBS program Insight who hosted a discussion on the topic of transgender women’s participation in sport.

The married mother of three, whose husband is a tradesman, was announced as the Liberal candidate for Warringah just a few weeks ago, and since her selection she’s been asked almost daily about some of her previous comments on transgender women and the LGBTIQA+ communities.

Today highlighted that Deves had previously described the birth of US politician Pete Buttigieg’s children a “human rights violation.”

Buttigieg, was one of the first gay candidates to launch a campaign as part of  a major party for the US Presidency, and the became the first to win a primary or caucus when he came out on top at 2020 Iowa vote.

Buttigieg celebrated the birth of twins Penelope Rose and Joseph August in September last year, alongside his husband Chasten.

The couple adopted two children. Deves responded to the couple’s announcement online describing their family as a vanity project.

“Surrogacy is a human rights violation,’’ she wrote. “Women’s bodies are not vehicles for a vanity project.”

In September 2021 Deves said trans women should be excluded from all women’s spaces because they might be serial killers.

“Transvestism is very common amongst sexual predators, even serial killers. So how are we women supposed to tell the different between the ones who are a threat and the ones who aren’t? Easier for women to exclude all males from spaces where we are vulnerable.”

They’re the latest in a long list of comments which Coalition MPs have described as offensive, ill-informed, inappropriate and poorly worded.

Among Deves other past comments that have questioned are describing young transgender people are being “mutilated,” calling Wear It Purple Day a “grooming exercise”, suggesting trans women are more likely to be sex offenders and serial killers, labeling a trans rights activist as a toilet predator, and saying she was “triggered” by the Pride flag.

Deves has also compared her own activism to resistance fighters fighting the Nazis, and falsely suggested that the Sydney Cricket Ground was permanently renaming the historic Ladies Pavilion the Pride Pavilion and turning all it’s toilets gender neutral, and repeatedly misgendered trans women.

As the deadline for nominations closed, and Deves remained as the Liberal candidate Green’s senator Janet Rice posted to Twitter.

Nominations have closed. Morrison and the Liberals stand by Katherine Deves. They have endorsed comparing transphobia to fighting Nazis, painting trans women as sex offenders, that queer people shouldn’t be parents.

“Sowing hatred, bigotry and division. This is who they are.” Senator Rice said.

OIP Staff

Correction 25-04-22 : An earlier version of this article suggested that Pete Buttigieg was the first gay candidate from a major US party to run for President. This was incorrect. That honour is held by Fred Krager, who ran for the Republican party in the 2012 US Presidential Election. OUTinPerth apologises unreservedly to Mr Krager for the error and any distress it has caused.

We have also clarified that Mr Buttigieg’s children were adopted.

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