By SENATOR LARISSA WATERS
One of the best things about being a politician is being able to throw your support behind worthy causes.
It really disappoints me that some politicians would abuse that privilege to support harmful, prejudiced ideas instead.
It’s unacceptable for the Abbott government’s Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews to be opening the World Congress of Families (WCF) conference in Melbourne on Saturday.
And the Australian Senate agrees with me.
Today the Senate passed my motion calling on all politicians to boycott this anti-gay, anti-choice conference that spreads discredited harmful myths, including that abortion causes breast cancer.
If Minister Andrews and other right-wing politicians intent on attending the conference won’t listen to the Senate, they should at the very least listen to the overwhelming public opposition to the WCF.
But Minister Andrews seems to want to block out the community’s protests instead, as evidenced at Parliament House today.
Today Minister Andrews refused an invitation to accept a large photo album of diverse family photos submitted by hundreds of Australians, opposed to the Congress’ discriminatory view of what a family should look like.
The Minister needs to start listening to the community in all of its wonderful diversity and realise that Australians value love and equality, not prejudice and bigotry.
I’m so proud of the way so many Australians have made their voices heard on this issue, which has resulted in Melbourne venues refusing to take the conference on.
It couldn’t be clearer that the WCF’s homophobic, sexist, anti-choice views are not the Australian way.