Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker has been accused of being ignorant and a bigot after she suggested that being gay or lesbian or transgender is a choice.
Stoker is an un-elected Queensland Senator who replaced George Brandis when he retired earlier this year.
She is part of a new generation of ultra-conservative members of the Liberal party, including Andrew Hastie and Michael Sukkar (who were instrumental in the removal of Malcolm Turnbull from the Liberal Party leadership earlier this year).
What she said
Stoker made the extraordinary comments about sexuality in an opinion piece for the Australian Financial Review in which she criticised “identity politics” saying people have no control over their sex, race or if they were disabled, but gender identity and sexuality were a choice.
“To obtain the protection, or indeed the promotion of the state, one must identify some attribute through which a special victimhood arises. These can be outside an individual’s control (such as sex, race or disability) or matters of personal choice (such as gender identity or sexuality).”
Stoker said there is no evidence of religious schools in Australia ever discriminating against LGBTI students, and recent debates around the issue were not about protecting LGBTI students but limiting people’s religious beliefs.
The comments slammed on social media
Minimum wage and penalty rates too high
Stoker has previously been accused of “not knowing her arse from her elbow” after her maiden speech to parliament, when she claimed that the minimum wage and penalty rates were too high and costing jobs.
The Queensland senator is desperate to grow her public profile appearing on right-wing nut job TV shows like Outsiders on Sky News.
Along with her conservative Liberal colleagues, Senator Stoker believes it’s the moderates in the party who have an identity problem.
“Those who regard themselves as Liberal moderates would regard themselves as socially left and economically dry but, the way I see it, the identity crisis is with them because they find those two things hard to reconcile,” Senator Stoker said.
No understanding of how sexuality works
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Discrimination Claims said Ms Stoker’s comments were ignorant and not based in fact.
“Clearly Ms Stoker has no understanding of how sexuality works – if she thinks that being gay or lesbian or transgender is a choice, I would like to know the date she woke up and decided to be heterosexual,” he said.
“And as for her extraordinary claim that the minimum wage and penalty rates are too high – and are somehow costing jobs – well, she provides absolutely no evidence to support her position.
“If Ms Stoker thinks that marginalising gay and lesbian and transgender people and cracking down on those who earn the least in our society is what mainstream Australia wants, then she, and her ultra conservative ‘Christian’ buddies in the Liberal party, will find themselves in opposition for a long long time.
“Most Australians have moved on and are not interested in these culture wars that these right wing politicians seem so intent on waging.”
If you have been discriminated against on the basis of your sex, gender or sexuality, you may be entitled to compensation.
Please call Discrimination Claims today on 1300 853 837.
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