Sydney MP Mark Latham faces legal action unless he apologises for ‘homophobic’ tweet
Alex Greenwich, the only openly gay member of Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state parliament is threatening to sue Mark Latham, of right-wing party One Nation, over a homophobic tweet.
Latham posted the now-deleted tweet in late March, which targeted independent MP Greenwich with graphic and homophobic descriptions of sex acts.
As reported by the Guardian at the time, independent MP Greenwich called Latham a “disgusting human being” who posed a risk to the state in a news article criticising Latham for a speech he gave at a clash between Christians and LGBTQ+ activists in Sydney in March this year.
Latham responded saying “Disgusting? How does that compare with sticking your d*** up a bloke’s a**.” When faced with backlash to his comment, he tweeted: “Never apologise, never explain.”
While Greenwich said the comments had brought him to tears, Latham was quoted as responding: “Sometimes in public life when you throw out insults they come back at you harder and truer … So boo-hoo Alex Greenwich.”
Latham reportedly deleted the tweet because he felt it was not acceptable for children to read but refused to apologise for it.
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Greenwich has now confirmed that his legal team issued Latham with a letter which states that a defamation suit will be filed in the Federal Court unless he issues a public apology by 17 May, The West Australian reported.
“Obviously, he made a very sexualised, targeted attack at me on Twitter and seemed to impugn [sic] my reputation amongst colleagues,” Greenwich said.
“He has continued to target me based on my sexuality, my role in this parliament and that does a great deal of damage and harm towards me and I will, as a result, be proceeding with defamation.”
“Enough is enough,” Greenwich said in a statement shared on Facebook.
“I’ve been openly gay in public life for 15 years and in NSW parliament for over 10 years and never have I experienced such a homophobic, sexualised attack that exposed me to contempt, ridicule and extreme abuse based on my sexuality.”
“It’s 2023 and LGBTQIA+ Australians shouldn’t have to put up with abuse that targets our sexuality, character, or ability to do our jobs,” he added.
Greenwich said he had also filed a complaints with police and the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW, as well as instructing his legal team to approach Twitter with respect to its provision of a platform that freely allows extreme homophobia, transphobia, racism and religious bigotry.
Mark Latham’s comments ‘blatantly homophobic’
In a statement to The West Australian, NSW Police confirmed an investigation into the matter was ongoing.
The outlet reported Equality Australia’s legal director, Ghassan Kassisieh, as calling on Latham to apologise – labelling the comments as “blatantly homophobic and unbecoming of anyone”.
“It should not require legal action for a person to do the right thing, acknowledge the harm they have done and apologise. No one should be targeted because of their sexuality or gender identity, and this kind of behaviour has no place in Australian society today.”
PinkNews has contacted Mark Latham for comment.
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