Australian suspended anti-gay politician: Equal marriage is making my party ‘collapse’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

A suspended anti-gay member of an Australian political party has spoken out to suggest that the party was on the verge of collapse over equal marriage rifts.

Bernard Gaynor, who had his senate bid cancelled by Katter’s American Party (KAP) last week after tweeting that he thought gay people should not allowed to be teachers, has now said that the party is on the brink of “collapse” out of being in “disarray”.

Last week Mr Gaynor asserted his belief that Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott would support him, saying they “would both agree that parents should be able to choose who teaches their children.

“I’m sure both of them would 100% back the rights of parents if they had concerns over the values of teachers. This includes concerns over teachers who promote homosexual lifestyles, either actively or by example, to children.”

He has now said that people were walking away from the party, and that the issue of equal marriage, which has been at the centre of several arguments in past weeks, was tearing it apart.

“There is a problem between the party president and Bob Katter and there is a problem between [State Leader] Aidan McLindon and Bob Katter,” Mr Gaynor told ABC radio.

“It is also quite clear that Bob Katter and the party’s values are going in two different directions… If the wrong decisions are made it may well collapse,” he said.

“Since the party has endorsed its first pro-gay marriage Senate candidate, within two days there has been call for the overthrow of management.”

“The party is in disarray from top to bottom,” he said, reports the Australian. 

Upon having his senate bid cancelled, Mr Gaynor voiced his anger, and said: “I know Bob Katter supports me 100%, but obviously he’s made this decision for political purposes.”

Tess Corbett, another KAP candidate, withdrew her candidacy in January, after telling a newspaper that she didn’t believe that gay people should have equal rights.

The party’s founder, Bob Katter, was forced to step in last month when a pro-equal marriage candidate, Steven Bailey was asked to quit the party over his pro-equality stance.

He had been asked to resign because “his position on marriage was in direct conflict” with the party’s core values.

KAP’s website says: “Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, ideally for life. It is in the best interests of children that they are nurtured by their father and their mother and laws concerning children should be based on the best interests of children.”