One Nation MP Mark Latham chastised for homophobic tweet that left Labor minister ‘physically sickened,
One Nation MP Mark Latham was chastised on Tuesday for an offensive tweet he posted, which left a Labor minister physically sickened.
The tweet, which was posted on Monday night, featured a picture of a rainbow flag with the caption “the left’s new flag”.
Labor’s Tanya Plibersek, who is the Minister for Women and Equality, said the tweet was “homophobic and offensive” and made her “physically sick”.
“I was absolutely appalled by the tweet from Mark Latham,” she said. “It was homophobic, it was offensive and it was wrong. I am proud to stand with the LGBTIQ community and stand against homophobia, and I will not be silent in the face of bigotry.”
The tweet was swiftly condemned by both sides of politics, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison describing it as “unacceptable”.
“We should all be celebrating diversity, not denigrating it,” he said.
The NSW Labor leader, Jodi McKay, also condemned the tweet, saying it “undermines the progress we have made in achieving equality”.
“Mark Latham’s tweet was offensive, hurtful and wrong,” she said. “It is unacceptable that anyone in the public eye would use their platform to spread such hateful messages.”
The tweet has since been deleted, but the damage was already done.
The incident has highlighted the need for better education about the LGBTIQ community. Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown said it was “shocking and unacceptable” that someone in a position of power could make such a comment.
“It’s time for all political leaders to take a stand against homophobia,” she said.
Mr Latham has since apologised for the tweet, but his apology was met with scepticism by many.
It is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that LGBTIQ Australians are treated with respect and dignity, and not subjected to hate speech.