Last night’s episode of ABC’s QandA was focused on the important topic of mental health in Australia. The panel consisted of Professor Patrick McGorry, Comedian Josh Thomas, CQU Academic Louise Byrne, Doctor Jennifer Bowers and Founder and Leader of Katter’s Australian Party – Bob Katter.
Given mental health is a major issue within the LGBTQI community, an audience member directed a question at Bob Katter, who in the past and throughout his long career as a public official has been accused of making homophobic remarks and not treating the LGBTQI community with the same respect and dignity that he does for majority of his electorate.
When asked the question, in usual ‘Bob’ fashion he began to steer the focus to a topic he was more passionate about. However, Josh Thomas cut in and took him to task.
“I think the problem is that you say it’s not a priority but you talk about it quite a bit and when you do talk about it, you say awful things,” he said. “So, that’s the problem.”
He ridiculed a claim made by Katter in 1989 that there were no homosexuals in his northern Queensland electorate.
“They exist,” Thomas said. “There’s an app called Grindr, I’ll put it on your phone.”
Katter said while he had been guilty of “cracking jokes” on the issue, he hadn’t made similar public comments in years.
But Thomas continued to press the politician.
“You’ve got an ad – you can still see it on YouTube – from The Katter Australia Party, about how homosexuals are evil. You said they don’t exist,” he said.
“For you to turn around and say you haven’t said homophobic things is just ridiculous.
“All you need to do … She asked the question you say, ‘You know what, I’ve said some stuff in the past, it was a mistake, I understand now; it’s hurting people’s mental health; it’s part of the problem, not part of the solution. I’m sorry. Hooray for gay people. Here’s some glitter’.”
(Transcript retrieved from SBS website)
You can see the exchange below.
Josh Thomas for President!