Opposition leader Tony Abbott has described gay marriage as “the fashion of the moment” during a radio interview, his second campaign gaffe in as many days.
On Wednesday, while speaking about the issue of gay marriage, Abbott told Sydney broadcaster John Laws: “I’m not someone who wants to see radical change based on the fashion on the moment.”
Federal Labor seized on the comments, with Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese saying they were “deeply offensive,” according to News Limited.
“People’s sexual orientation is just the way that they are,” Albanese said.
“They’re just other human beings who happen to be in love or in relationships with people of the same gender.”
Abbott later clarified his comments, saying while gay marriage was important it was not the only issue the country faced, though voters have lashed out through social media.
Tony Abbott on gay marriage: "I’m not someone who wants to see radical change based on the fashion of the moment"
Do NOT vote for this man.
— Riley Beveridge (@RileyBev) August 14, 2013
— Shane Bazzi (@shanebazzi) August 14, 2013
— Adam (@adsteratik) August 14, 2013
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader yesterday described Liberal Candidate Fiona Scott, who is running in the Western Sydney seat of Lindsay, as being “young, feisty” with “a bit of sex appeal”.
Abbott has since, according to ABC News, admitted the comments were “old fashioned,” after weathering a backlash from media commentators and the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.
“If any male employer stood up in a workplace anywhere in Australia and pointing to a female staff member, said, ‘This person is a good staff member because they’ve got sex appeal’, I think people would scratch their heads, at least,” the Prime Minister said.
“And I think the employer would be finding themselves in serious strife.”
Comedian and TV-host John Oliver yesterday sent up Australian election campaigns in a segment during The Daily Show, which has gained international attention.
It featured video grabs of one-time One Nation candidate Stephanie Banister, who thought the religious belief system of Islam was a country.
Also mocked was Liberal candidate Jaymes Diaz, who touted a six-point plan to stop boats of asylum seekers coming to Australia, but could only name one point: that the plan would “stop the boats.”
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