Stephen Wells welcome at ‘Meet the Candidate’ event

The Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry say controversial candidate Stephen Wells is welcome to attend their Meet the Candidate event next week despite his offensive comments about the LGBTIQA+ community, women, Jewish people, Indigenous Australians and people of colour.

Wells made headlines this week after articles he’d written for a far-right website and video podcasts where he shared his political views surfaced.

Warning: This story has details of comments which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Wells, who campaigns against Pride events and if opposed to drag performances, describes himself as representing the Christian viewpoint and denies he has been keeping his true political motivations from voters.

Current City of Busselton councilor Phill Cronin, who is running for re-election, denounced Wells’ anti-Semitic views and called on the Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry to remove Wells from the lineup at their event next week.

CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Victoria Yuen, has told OUTinPerth that won’t be happening.

Citing the organisation’s commitment to the value of “free speech” and determination to remain apolitical, Yuen said the invitation was still being extended to all candidates.

“You have to let people decides for themselves.” Yuen said.

In his candidate statement Wells says he is “well suited to represent the views” of his local community but makes no mentioned of his political views or opposition to LGBTIQA+ related events. Wells describes himself as a local resident who has worked in a range of unspecified professions ranging from low-skilled work to high -skilled roles, including running his own business.

“I understand the lives of many different people and am well suited to represent the views of all the residents of our community.”

However in his online comments he labels all women who are in politics “whores”, says the LGBTIQA+ community want to add necrophilia to the acronym, suggests that African Americans are more likely to be gay, praises jihadists, and makes racist and sexist comments about many prominent Australians.

Yesterday Wells commented on his activism against the LGBTIQA+ community describing the people who attended a counter protest in Maylands earlier this year as “degenerate bum sex and *** ******ing fanatics” who wished to “sacrifice their child.”

The council candidate has been at the forefront of protests against drag events in Perth and the South West. OUTinPerth captured Wells protesting alongside far-right activists at the Perth library in May where one man repetitively performed Nazi salutes. 

Dvir Abramovich, the chair of the Anti-Defamation Commission, has also denounced the statements from Wells.

“This is not normal, and allowing this hardcore white supremacist to be a candidate is a spit on the memory of the brave diggers who sacrificed their lives to defeat Hitler’s regime, the six million Jewish victims and the millions of others murdered by the Nazis,” Abramovich told The West Australian.

““I wonder whether the Western Australia Electoral Commission knew about his dehumanising rhetoric, cesspool of ugly conspiracy theories and incitement against the Jewish community, our First People, members of the LGBTIQ+ and other religious and ethnic communities.”

Graeme Watson 


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGED[email protected] / discharged.asn.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au

 

 

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