Constituents in the federal seat of Brisbane will be represented in Canberra by an openly gay politician after the next election – widely tipped to be held on July 2.
For the first time in Australian history, the two main political parties will have gay candidates – Trevor Evans (LNP) and Pat O’Neil (ALP).
Mr Evans (pictured) has been preselected to replace Teresa Gambaro, who has held the seat since 2010.
“Through my professional career, I have been a great supporter and advocate of small businesses, negotiating with governments of all sides, to achieve positive outcomes for all parties,” Mr Evans said.
“I have also been an active member of our local community supporting charities to assist the vulnerable and less fortunate in Brisbane.”
Mr O’Neill told the Brisbane Times that while he acknowledged history was being made, he did not think having two openly gay candidates was such a big issue.
“I think it’s reflective of the fact that Australians, and society in general, come from a whole range of backgrounds and everybody gets treated with a fair go in Australia,” he said.
“So, regardless of if it’s an increased number of women in parliament, whether it’s people from different backgrounds or people with different sexualities, I think it’s reflective of where we’ve come as an Australian society and reflective of the fact the majority of Australians support equality and a fair go.
“People are who they are, they’re doing what they’re doing, and there are a whole lot of factors that make up who we are as a person and sexuality is just one of those factors.”
Whoever wins the Brisbane seat will become the second openly gay member of the lower house in Canberra following Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman, who won a North Sydney by-election late last year.