A WOMAN who likened gays and lesbians to paedophiles while campaigning as the Wannon candidate for Bob Katter’s Australia Party has told a tribunal that bracketing homosexuality with “other notorious kinds of immoral conduct” was a persuasive strategy used by some of the “greatest contributors to Western civilisation’s philosophical understanding”.
Lake Bolac grandmother Tess Corbett stood down from the Katter party’s ticket for the seat of Wannon in the lead up to the 2013 federal election after she told her local paper “I don’t want gays, lesbians or paedophiles working in my kindergarten”.
“If you don’t like it, go to another kindergarten,” Ms Corbett said in comments to Hamilton’s The Spectator, which she then reiterated and defended in major daily newspapers across the country.
“Paedophiles will be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians and get rights,” she said.
The Australian Christians party endorsed Ms Corbett as its Wannon candidate in the weeks after the controversy.
Ms Corbett was subsequently found to have engaged in homosexual vilification by the NSW Administrative Decision Tribunal and ordered to publish a public apology in the Sydney Morning Herald.
She has not apologised and despite failing to attend the initial hearing into the matter, is now appealing the vilification findings in the NSW Civil and Administrative Appeals tribunal.
In a 21-page written submission, Ms Corbett’s Victorian barrister Marcel White defended his client’s comments on both legal and factual grounds, referring directly to the Bible as supporting evidence.
“This didactic process of bracketing homosexual behaviours with other notorious kinds of immoral conduct has been, not only for politicians, but also for some of the indisputably greatest contributors to Western civilisation’s philosophical understanding of human conduct, a reliably persuasive means of making argument,” Mr White’s submissions state.
Mr White also argued that Ms Corbett had not intended to compare gays and lesbians with paedophiles, but that she simply stated that they were “all moral issues”.
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD