New South Wales LGBTIQ advocates have reacted to new state Premier Dominic Perrottet, a staunch conservative Catholic, taking the top job.
Perrottet become the 46th Premier of New South Wales on Tuesday after a landslide win of the party room ballot for NSW Liberal leadership.
The vote came after the shock resignation of former leader Gladys Berejiklian last Friday.
Dominic Perrottet is a self-described “proud conservative”. He’s previously spoken about how his Catholic beliefs have influenced his work in politics.
“My religious views and my Christian faith is something I am incredibly proud of, as many people across our state are,” he said on Tuesday.
In 2017, he said he opposed same-sex marriage on the basis that “marriage is about every child’s fundamental right to grow up with their own mum and dad.”
“It is the glue that binds them together. If you change marriage, you weaken that family bond and you change the very foundation of society,” he said.
Perrottet voted against decriminalising abortion in 2019, declaring supporters are on the “wrong side of history”.
He said he could not support laws to stop “the beating heart of an unborn child”.
Perrottet also opposed laws to force Catholic priests to notify police if someone confesses to sexual abuse because “the confessional seal is sacrosanct no matter what sins are confessed”.
He also described a push within the public service for gender neutral language as the “pronoun police” and “completely unacceptable”.
Dominic Perrottet cheered Trump election win
In 2016, after former US President Donald Trump’s election, Dominic Perrottet declared it was time for a “conservative spring”.
He wrote on Facebook, “If you stand for free speech, you are not a bigot.
“If you question man-made climate change, you are not a sceptic. If you support stronger borders, you are not a racist.
He went on, “If you want a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, you are not a homophobe.
“If you love your country, you are not an extremist.
“These are mainstream values that people should be free to articulate without fear of ridicule or persecution by the Left.”
LGBTIQ advocates react to NSW Premier Perrottet
The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby have called for Premier Perrottet to work with them on important LGBTIQ issues.
Co-convener Jack Whitney said draft legislation currently before the parliament has “real implications” for the community.
“Many in the LGBTIQ community have strong, and genuine, concerns about Perrottet’s ability to govern for all of NSW,” Whitney said.
“Many have seen his social media posts supporting Donald Trump, and his track record on social issues, as a sign of things to come.
“However the Lobby will continue to work closely with all parties. [We will] keep an eye on how the new government proceeds in its first days.
“We hope that [Premier] Perrottet leads with an open mind and heart.
“Many of the Bills before parliament have real implications for the community.
“Our priorities are to update the anti-discrimination act, banning conversion therapy, stopping the One Nation Education Bill and protecting all groups from discrimination.
“We invite Perrottet to work with us and protect all of us, and implement meaningful reform.”
Whitney added, “Perrottet and I might not agree on everything. But I’m interested in knowing where do points of collaboration begin and end. We will keep the community informed.”
LGBTIQ advocates oppose legislation in the NSW Parliament
Last month, the NSW government committed to passing laws to ban religious discrimination in NSW. Any law change would come after the Morrison Government passes its long-delayed federal Religious Discrimination Bill, Attorney-General Mark Speakman said.
But LGBTIQ advocates warn a draft bill from One Nation’s Mark Latham on that issue goes too far and NSW MPs should reject it.
Mark Latham has also introduced a separate education bill targeting trans youth and schools’ support of them.
That “discriminatory and cruel” bill has caused outrage. But it’s attracted support from some Coalition and Labor MPs in the state.
However the New South Wales government as a whole hasn’t declared a party position on Latham’s legislation.
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