ACT Liberal MP Mark Parton has apologised for describing his Greens electoral opponent as “too camp” to win the seat.
The serving MP told Greens candidate Jonathan Davis he was “too camp for Tuggeranong” when the pair met last weekend. Tuggeranong, and the pair’s electorate of Brindabella, are located in Canberra’s south.
Davis told The Canberra Times he didn’t think Parton was homophobic, but was disappointed Parton thought his sexuality mattered to the campaign.
“Mark and I have got to know each other quite well over the years. We were having an honest back-and-forth conversation,” Davis said.
“He made the comment that while I’m a nice bloke I probably wouldn’t win because I’m too camp for Tuggeranong.”
Davis said he initially brushed off the comments as banter, but spoke out after also copping vile homophobic abuse on Facebook from a troll who was backing the Liberals.
He wanted to highlight that LGBTIQ people still face disparaging comments to varying degrees.
“Both people felt comfortable citing my sexuality as justification for electoral support,” he said.
“If we want to break down that stigma, then both have to be called out – even if they are very different.”
Davis added Parton was underestimating how tolerant and socially progressive voters in Canberra’s south are.
The ACT will go to the polls to elect the Legislative Assembly on Saturday, October 17.
ACT Liberals dump candidate Peter McKay after rant
Last month, the Canberra Liberals dumped candidate Peter McKay after past homophobic comments in a parliamentary submission resurfaced.
McKay had criticised the ACT’s “homosexual Chief Minister and the strong lesbian influence in the ACT Police” in the rant.
He claimed accepting homosexuality was “poor governance” and also criticised Indigenous smoking ceremonies.
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