Scott Morrison is getting a pasting on Twitter after saying in an interview that he could relate to the “hate speech” endured by the LGBTI community because he had been the target of a similar kind of vitriol for his conservative views on marriage.
In an interview on ABC’s Radio National Breakfast program with Fran Kelly, he said some of the attacks on him were similar to what has been endured by Labor MP and prominent marriage equality advocate Penny Wong.
Here’s how Morrison responded when Kelly asked about Wong’s concern that a plebiscite may have ramifications for the LGBTI community.
I respect Penny’s fears that she has raised. Equally, there are many who have a different view to Penny and to others over what should happen to same-sex marriage. I have a different view to that and people have strong religious views, they have also been subject to quite strong hate speech as well. It is not confined to one side of the debate. That said, I have a bigger view of the Australian people more broadly which says we can once and for all deal with this issue where everybody gets their say.
He said he understood Wong’s fears because he has personally experienced hatred and bigotry for his own views.
I know it from personal experience. I have been exposed to that sort of hatred and bigotry for the views I have taken from others who have a different view to me but I think the best way is for all of us to have a say on this, deal with it and move on.
The problem with Morrison’s logic, immediately called out by some, is that being gay isn’t a political position.
Yeah i'm sorry Scott Morrison, but the criticism you receive does not equal the discrimination LGBTIQ people get for merely existing.
— Bill Posters (@Aqualec) June 22, 2016
— Rob Roy (@robroy1985) June 22, 2016
Views can be changed, sexuality cannot. I can't believe this is even a discussion now. https://t.co/gkh3T8uhrF
— Josh Taylor (@joshgnosis) June 22, 2016
Wong, 47, entered federal politics in 2002 representing South Australia in the Senate. Not only is the first Asian-born member of an Australian cabinet, she is the first female openly-gay Australian federal politician.
During her time on the political stage she has positioned herself as a champion of difficult portfolios such as finance and water, as well as taking a strong stand on marriage equality.
She is the mother of two children with her partner Sophie.
Here’s some more of what people are saying on Twitter about Morrison’s comments.
— David Alexander (@davidFalexander) June 22, 2016
— Previously on Life and Other Catastrophes. (@lukeyook) June 21, 2016
— Kirk (@kackles74) June 21, 2016
— Human/Ordinary (@humanordinarypc) June 21, 2016
— Samuel (@Sp00kD) June 21, 2016
— Still #NotABot Robin (@mahootna2) June 21, 2016
There really is no way to describe the lack of awareness in Scott Morrison’s comments.There is, but it wouldn't meet community standards
— Geoff Pearson (@GCobber99) June 21, 2016
The government pledged $160 million to the same-sex marriage plebiscite in the federal budget in May.
A “yes” vote by the public in favour of legalising same-sex marriage would result in changes to the Marriage Act by the end of the year meaning that same sex marriage could be legal in Australia as early as 2017.
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