Thursday night finally saw Guptal Singh disendorsed as Liberal candidate for Scullin. After resisting pressure to dump him over homophobic slurs, the Liberal Party finally relented over other comments.
Guptal Singh made the homophobic slurs, likening same-sex marriage to paedophilia, during the 2017 Marriage Equality debate. He was, until Thursday, the Liberal candidate in the 2019 Federal Election for the safe Labor seat of Scullin in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
He told SBS radio in 2017, “Here we are doing something which is against nature… I think there is also an issue of paedophilia.”
After the comments came to light during the election campaign, Singh apologised.
“They were wrong, and I apologise,” he told The Age.
Singh, at that time, remained a candidate with the support of the Prime Minister.
While disendorsing other candidates for offensive social media comments, the Liberals dismissed concerns over Singh’s homophobic posts.
The ABC reported Thursday that Labor would target Singh from Friday with advertising on Grindr.
Also Thursday, SBS reported that in May last year, Singh condemned a woman who went public with her story of rape.
He posted his comments on an SBS Facebook post concerning a news article entitled ‘I married my rapist’.
“I totally disagree with the allegation of rape,” he wrote.
“No sympathy. Such element brings bad name to whole community.”
Guptal Singh described the husband as the “real victim”.
However, it seems the rape comments were a bridge too far. Soon after publication of the comments, the Victorian Division of the Liberal Party asked Singh to step down.
The 2019 Federal Election Body Count
Peter Killen, the candidate for Wills, resigned because of his remarks exhorting conservatives to join the Liberal Party to stop the endorsement of gay candidates. His homophobic slurs against Tim Wilson especially outraged moderate Liberals.
The Libs sacked Jeremy Hearn, the candidate for Isaacs, over an anti-Muslim Facebook rant.
Friendly comments about a Labor candidate saw Murray Angus disendorsed as candidate for Corio.
Both Kate Oski in Lalor and Vaishali Ghosh, the original candidate for Wills, voluntarily withdrew over doubts about their eligibility due to dual citizenship.
The candidate for Cooper found herself dumped over her employment with Australia Post. The constitution precludes anyone who holds an office of profit under the crown from running.
Jessica Whelan the candidate for Lyons quit over anti-Muslim Facebook posts but not before claiming the old, ‘I’ve been hacked’.
The Labor Party disendorsed their Northern Territory Senate candidate Wayne Kurnoth consequent to offensive memes and for peddling conspiracy theories.
Gay candidate for Melbourne Luke Creasey withdrew over lewd memes and rape jokes.
Pauline Hanson’s Queensland Senate candidate survived camera footage of him begging donations from the American National Rifle Association. However, asking a stripper to grab his derringer proved too much for his boss.
United Australia Party
Clive Palmer disendorsed his candidate for Melbourne, Tony Pecora over conspiracy theories.
Jay Dessi, candidate for Lalor, quit over social media posts, one identified as racist and the others containing jokes about sex with dead people and other ore offensive topics.
Of course, many candidates with a history of offensive comments, including homophobic slurs, and racial and religious vilification remain in the election, but are unlikely to face disendorsment, especially those elected to lead a political party by just one vote — their own.
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