Australia: Departing pro-gay Senator attacks ‘deeply homophobic’ colleague

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A pro-gay Labor senator has laid into a colleague who will replace her, alleging that he is ‘deeply homophobic’ and ‘disloyal’.

Louise Pratt has represented Western Australia in the senate since 2007, becoming the first senator with a trans partner, and established the cross-party working group on marriage equality.

She had also backed plans to reform gender options on passports, to allow trans people to legally change their gender without surgery.

However, she now stands to lose her seat, after being bumped to second place on the party ticket in favour of Joe Bullock, a Labor colleague and trade union official.

According to ABC Australia, she said: “It is a blow to progressive voters that I would be replaced in the Senate by someone who I have known for many years to be deeply homophobic, to be anti-choice, and has recently emerged disloyal to the very party he has been elected to represent.

“Placing me behind Joe Bullock meant for me I felt like I had every day of campaigning with my arms tied behind my back.

“The leadership of the SDA [union] have consistently used their bloc to preselect members of Parliament who are anti-marriage equality and who are anti-choice.

“I am ashamed that a factional power grab was privileged over principles, deeply held by an overwhelming number of party members and indeed Western Australians more broadly.”