Katter candidate 'wouldn't let gays teach'
Bob Katter's Australian Party has hit controversy again with a senate candidate from Queensland declaring he would not let a gay person teach his children.
Bernard Gaynor, the former national general secretary for Katter’s Australian Party, broadcast his controversial opinion on Wednesday night via Twitter.
‘‘I wouldn't let a gay person teach my children and I am not afraid to say it,’’ he wrote.
I wouldn't let a gay person teach my children and I am not afraid to say it #auspol— Bernard Gaynor (@BernardGaynor) January 23, 2013
The Queensland nominee’s declaration comes after the Katter Party’s federal candidate in western Victoria, Tess Corbett, sparked outrage after likening gays and lesbians to paedophiles.
Ms Corbett told The Hamilton Spectator this week she did not want gays and lesbians working in her kindergarten.
Mr Gaynor, who describes himself as a father of five, an Iraq veteran and Catholic, defended his tweet citing free speech and the right of Christians to hold opinions about "right and wrong".
‘‘If we value free speech and democracy then we would respect the right of Christians to hold their views about right and wrong,’’ he tweeted.
‘‘Parents should have discretion over who teaches their children.’’
Other Twitter users responded viciously, with some calling Mr Gaynor ‘‘hateful’’, ‘‘narrow minded’’ and ‘‘homophobic’’. Another asked Mr Gaynor if he would allow a gay nurse in an emergency department save his child’s life, or ‘‘let them die’’.
Mr Katter, who is on a whistlestop tour of Victoria, was asked about Ms Corbett's comments on Wednesday and told Fairfax Media that "he didn't talk about those things".
"If someone has made some statement like that, I'm bloody sure the party will be making arrangements," he said.
"The party is not interested in that, it never has been, never will be."
He said it angered him that media was interested in someone who had "made a very stupid statement" rather than looking issues such as the plight of farmers and manufacturing workers.
Mr Katter has admitted regretting the homophobic advertisements his party ran during the 2012 Queensland election, which depicted two shirtless men holding each other with the words, ‘‘Is a vote for LNP leader Campbell Newman a vote for gay marriage?’’
Among those who condemned the advertisements as homophobic was Mr Katter’s gay half brother Carl. He tweeted: ‘‘They are using the politics of fear & hate to win vote[s].’’
When announcing his nomination for the senate earlier this month Mr Gaynor, a climate change denier, said he was motivated by a desire to stop the "politically correct policies".
"The politically correct, open-door immigration policy that resulted in the recent Sydney riots and numerous terrorist threats must be scrapped," he told the Toowoomba Chronicle.
"Australians remain sceptical about Greens-driven climate policies that do not reduce temperatures but raise the budgetary heat for families. Climate change is crap and the carbon tax must go."
- with Richard Willingham