One Nation’s New South Wales leader Mark Latham has railed against “leftist elites” and gender and sexual fluidity in his maiden speech to the New South Wales parliament.
The former Labor leader is now One Nation’s NSW leader and was elected to the state’s Legislative Assembly in March. Latham used his 45-minute inaugural speech on Wednesday afternoon to declare left-wing “cultural invaders” had become a “curse” on Australian society.
“They are tolerant of everything except dissenting values and opinions — meaning, of course, they are tolerant of nothing that matters, only themselves,” he said.
“This is the Leftist curse through the ages: the recurring history of those who so badly crave control over others, they lose control over themselves.
“The New Left are the new primitives of our time… junking the importance of evidence, of recorded history, of biological science, to pretend that all parts of our lives – especially race, gender and sexuality – can be fluid, that everything we know and feel around us is, in fact, ‘socially constructed’.”
Latham singled out the Safe Schools anti-bullying program and inclusion initiatives like Wear It Purple Day for criticism, and said schools were at risk of becoming “gender fluidity factories”.
“Our personal characteristics and identities are fixed, not fluid. With few exceptions, people are born either male or female,” he said.
“We shouldn’t be confusing young people and risking their mental health by pushing gender fluidity upon them.”
He also slammed “political correctness”, saying he refused to allow his words to be “controlled” by “elites with their confected outrage and PC-censorship”.
“In truth in society, offence is taken, not given. It’s a personal choice, based on assumptions about what someone meant by their words,” he said.
“As the great John Cleese has pointed out, telling a joke about someone doesn’t mean we hate them.
“We love the people we joke about — the Irish, the blondes, the gays, everyone — as they’ve helped to bring humour and joy into our lives.”
But Israel Folau, who is awaiting sanctions for his inflammatory social media posts, has fallen victim to “corporate PC-elites” who want to “control all aspects of their employees’ lives,” Latham said.
“He believes, as millions of people have believed for thousands of years, that sinners go to Hell,” he said.
“As per his valid religious faith, he loves the sinner but condemns the sin.
“Yet for his beliefs, his Christianity, he is not allowed to play rugby, to chase the pigskin around the park. How did our State and our nation ever come to this?
“No Australian should be fearful of proclaiming four of the most glorious words of our civilisation, ‘I am a Christian’.
“No one should be sacked by their employer for statements of genuine belief and faith that have got nothing to do with their job.”
Latham pledges new religious freedom laws
Last weekend, Latham told Sky News he planned to push for new laws in New South Wales to allow businesses to turn away clients seeking goods and services for same-sex weddings.
He said it was “unfinished business” after the legalisation of same-sex marriage, and if a Christian baker or dressmaker objected to participating in a same-sex wedding ceremony they faced prosecution under anti-discrimination laws.
“We’ve got to make sure that the government can never make Christians and other religious people do things that they regard as being morally wrong,” he said.
“We’ll set out a program about doing things with freedom and fairness starting with religious freedom in New South Wales and beyond.”
Latham’s history of anti-LGBTIQ commentary
Latham drew criticism during the election campaign for a number of his policies and comments he made, particularly about transgender people.
Latham announced a policy making it harder for trans people to affirm their gender to stop “self-identification” as a result of “Leftist ideology, individual whims or novelty factors” and was slammed by LGBTIQ advocates for “moronic dog whistling”.
Latham was also criticised ahead of the election for suggesting trans people be prevented from transitioning because children were “changing their gender every other day” and an “evil political program” allowing self-identification was the cause of poor mental health outcomes, not transphobia and discrimination.
During his time as a right-wing commentator, Latham also argued in 2017 there were too few same-sex couples to justify marriage equality as a political issue and said during the postal survey trans people should be excluded from same-sex marriage legislation because he “supports gay marriage but not state-approved gender fluidity.”
During the marriage equality campaign, Latham was nominated for a tongue-in-cheek GLORIA award for railing against an alleged LGBTI “reign of terror” in an opinion piece where he said he feared people who did not “worship at the altar of homosexuality and gender fluidity” would be “run out of town”.
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