Dr Kerryn Phelps’ likely win in the Wentworth by-election has been welcomed by LGBTIQ advocates.
Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said Kerryn will bring “compassion, common sense and a spirit of cooperation to a polarised parliament.”
“Kerryn’s election shows Australians want solutions not in-fighting, [and] progress not dogma,” he said.
“We look forward to Kerryn working with other MPs to foster inclusion and equality for the LGBTI community and bring to an end the sexuality and gender culture wars that have afflicted LGBTI Australians in recent years.”
Croome said Dr Phelps will become the first openly lesbian member of the House of Representatives.
The by-election in the Sydney electorate of Wentworth to replace dumped former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was held on Saturday.
That evening, Phelps was tipped to defeat Liberal candidate Dave Sharma after a dramatic swing against the Liberal party of between 18 and 19 per cent.
But in a rollercoaster series of updates on Sunday, the Australian Electoral Commission said Sharma had narrowed Phelps’ lead to 884 votes on a two-party basis.
It’s now understood Phelps is the likely winner of the seat but the exact result may not be known for several days.
“This is a great moment for Australian democracy. This win tonight should signal a return of decency, integrity and humanity to the Australian government,” she said in her victory speech on Saturday night.
“And let’s hope for a bit of common sense on climate action.”
Phelps is a doctor and the first woman or LGBTIQ person elected president of the Australian Medical Association.
She was a high-profile campaigner for same-sex marriage over many years and was involved in the “yes” campaign during the postal survey in 2017.
She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for her services to medicine. She was previously Deputy Lord Mayor of the Council of the City of Sydney.