Monday, 21 May 2012

Heffernan's homophobia

Thanks again Rob for the link (comment below). It's particularly interesting as we've just had our own very recent bully homophobic attack here. By none other than the senior Liberal party (conservatives here) member Bill Heffernan:
OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott's political enforcer Bill Heffernan is accused of a homophobic attack on a senior Liberal staffer during a Central Coast party meeting.
 
Bill HeffernanRay Carter, 67, has filed a formal complaint to the Liberal Party demanding action be taken against Bill Heffernan after he allegedly hit him at a branch meeting and abused him for being gay.

Mr Carter, who has a heart condition, has made a statutory declaration detailing the incident on May 3 at the Breakers Country Club in Terrigal. His statement is backed by statutory declarations from two Liberal Party witnesses.

A third witness confirmed that Senator Heffernan launched an anti-gay tirade against Mr Carter after the meeting.

Mr Heffernan, a controversial Liberal senator since September 1996, is Tony Abbott's representative on the powerful NSW Liberal Party State Executive. He was a close confidant of former prime minister John Howard and performed the same duty.

In his statement, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Carter said Mr Heffernan was seated three rows behind him when the meeting started at 7pm. Mr Carter left the room briefly for a discussion with his employer, MP for Terrigal and NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Chris Hartcher.

Read more of the statutory declarations on Bill Heffernan

When he returned and was about to sit down, Mr Heffernan allegedly leaned over and hit Mr Carter so hard he was knocked off balance.

One witness heard the thud from the attack and saw Mr Carter grimace in pain.

"Senator Heffernan leaned over and hit me on my left shoulder and said something I did not hear (I am partially deaf in one ear) and tried to grab a sheet of paper out of my hands. I was knocked off balance. I said: 'Take your hands off me!' I then fell into my seat," Mr Carter said in his declaration.

"I was shaken and upset. I said nothing more. At the end of the meeting I was standing near to the exit door leading into the corridor. I was alone though many people were milling about. Senator Heffernan walked up to me and said in a low voice: 'I didn't know you were a poofter'. He said this in an aggressive manner.
"Rather than have a public confrontation I left."

The Sunday Telegraph understands Mr Carter wants serious action taken against Mr Heffernan by the Liberal Party's state executive.
Link


Unfortunately Labor is doing very badly in the polls, largely due to a scare campaign by Abbot devoid of anything factual, and a gov that seems inept at avoiding controversy. (The Federal election is next year and it's looking very bad for Labor). It's comforting at least that there's no debate about Carter's sexuality being wrong, simply that Heffernan was wrong to not only assault the bloke, but to bring his sexuality into it as well. Related to this was the recent Queensland State election, in which the Labor party expelled one of it's candidates from the party over his views on homosexuality. 
Teenage Queensland ALP candidate Peter Watson has been expelled from the party after admitting to a series of anti-gay rants on the internet.

Mr Watson was forced to resign as Labor's candidate for the Southern Downs electorate last night, after linking homosexuality to paedophilia in website postings made around four years ago.

This morning, the ALP said in a statement Mr Watson had also been expelled from the party.

The 19-year-old admitted to ABC Radio's AM program earlier this morning that he did write the posts.

"I said that homosexuality and paedophilia were linked because there's been some research done ... and it's been published by the Catholic Church, that suggests that 30 per cent of male paedophiles are homosexual," Mr Watson said.

"I made the comments, so I do agree with it.

 

"These comments I made about homosexuals were made when I was like 14, 15 years old, so we're talking about four, five years ago.

"[But] I do agree in some sense.

"Research - and it's been published by the Catholic Church - that suggest that 30 per cent of male paedophiles are homosexual."

Mr Watson's posts also described homosexuals as "social degenerates" and accused them of destroying society's values.

"They do - in a sense homosexuality does degrade our society's values," he told AM.
Link


One would expect the Liberal party and Heffernan (if Carters allegations are true) to be heading into some real difficulty with this. The fact that he's such a senior Liberal of many years in the parliament just makes it worse. And the fact that the Labor party has shown it has no tolerance for homophobia you'd expect at least a decent dressing down of this guy from the part hierarchy. I'm not holding my breath though.

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