Labor MP Tim Watts has told LGBT youth that change is coming and to “hang in there”.
Speaking in the House of Representatives, Watts took to the box to say the past two weeks have been “depressing”.
“After a particularly depressing fortnight spent debating the merits of the Safe Schools anti-homophobic bullying program in this place, I’d like to tell any young LGBTI Australians out there listening not to despair,” he said.
“Change is coming, painfully slowly I know, but hang in there,”
Watts speech comes after the Turnbull government ordered a review of the Safe Schools program that aims to stop bullying in schools based on sexual orientation.
Those that campaigned a review into the program include Senator Cory Bernardi, who said it was “about intimidating and bullying kids into conforming to what is the homosexual agenda”, but Watts said this is just wrong.
“Newsflash Cory – it’s a sexuality, not an ideology.”
It comes as Labor Senator Joe Bullock announced he will leave parliament over the party’s same-sex marriage policy.
Aged 60, Bullock made the announcement on Tuesday night, saying he had long been against same-sex marriage and could not remain a Labor parliamentarian, given that the party will remove its members’ ability to vote with their conscience on the issue in 2019.
“Instinctively I know if your job requires you to do [that] which you believe to be wrong, there’s only one course of action: resign,” he said.
“As a member of the party, I’m free to disagree with the party policy, to lobby for change, and to encourage people to join the party with a view to achieving that end,”
“As a Labor Senator, it’s my job to tell voters that it doesn’t matter that Labor will outlaw the conscience vote on homosexual marriage, and to recommend a vote for Labor without reservation.
“That’s the job description of a Labor Senator. It’s a job which I can’t do.”
Watts has also questioned why Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has not called out those that say homophobic statements.
“The PM owes it to the LGBTI kids around Australia to tell the dinosaurs of his backbench that they are wrong – and to do it now.”
Gay News Network AU