Dean Smith: PM’s ‘gender whisperer’ comments were unnecessary

Western Australian senator Dean Smith has described the Prime Ministers failure to stand up to gay conversion therapy and recent comments about ‘gender whisperers’ as “unfortunate and unnecessary”.

“The comments I think were unfortunate and unnecessary by Scott Morrison.” Senator Smith said.

Senator Smith was speaking on a panel at the 2nd Australian Ally Conference at Curtin University on Friday. The panel included state and federal politicians including The Greens’ Alison Xamon and Labor’s Louise Pratt alongside LGBTI rights activist Rodney Croome.

While the Prime Minister had tweeted about ‘gender whisperers’, Senator Smith said it was also notable that the senate had passed a motion saying it did not support conversion therapy.

During a conversation about politics and alliance the senator spoke about the importance of finding allies to support legislation noting that sometimes they were in unusual places.

The senator said keeping LGBTI students safe in school was a priority for him.

“I don’t care if its a public school or a private school..children deserve to be safe at school.” Senator Smith said.

“Keeping LGBTI students safe at school is very important for me.” Senator Smith said noting that he realised that he had a responsibility to speak to religious and conservative minded members of his party about the issues were were of concern, especially issues affecting transgender people.

Senator Smith told the audience that he had realised that he also needed to learn more about issues being faced by indigenous Australians who were part of the LGBTI community.

The senator said he would be keeping a “close eye” on the release of the Ruddock Review into religious freedom.

“When Australians were forced to vote in the postal survey, the voted and they made their values crystal clear.” Senator Smith said.

Graeme Watson