Anti-gay tirade in Queensland

Issue 

Anti-gay tirade in Queensland

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — The mayor of outer suburban Pine Rivers shire, Yvonne Chapman, has given local residents permission for bigotry and hatred against homosexuals, according to Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association co-convener Janet Fitzgerald.

"Politicians who use a position of power to push a bandwagon give people permission to discriminate and hate and act out that hate in often violent ways", Fitzgerald said. Speaking on May 6, Fitzgerald was replying to a demand by Chapman, a former National Party family services minister in the Bjelke-Petersen government, for gays to get out of her shire.

Chapman warned of a police clampdown on alleged homosexual encounters in public toilets in the shire, saying the council would remove the toilet doors at places such as Wylie Park and Sweeney's Reserve at Petrie, north of Brisbane, to help halt the increasing "problem".

"My advice to homosexuals travelling through is — don't stop, you're not welcome", Chapman said.

Council for Civil Liberties president Ian Dearden accused Chapman of partaking in "another round of National Party poofter bashing". State anti-discrimination commissioner Karen Walters has called on Chapman to retract her comments and apologise to the gay community.

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