Australia's new Deputy PM wrote homophobic editorial in 1990s

  • 26/02/2018
Michael McCormack has been elected Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.
Michael McCormack has been elected Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Photo credit: Getty

An embarrassing column written by Australia's new Deputy Prime Minister has resurfaced after 25 years.

Michael McCormack was elected leader of the National Party on Monday (local time). 

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs was the top contender for the job since the disgraced former Deputy Barnaby Joyce announced his resignation on Friday.

It's recently been revealed that he wrote a homophobic column during his time as a journalist. 

In 1993, when he was the editor of local Wagga Wagga paper The Daily Advertiser, Mr McCormack called gay people "unnatural" in an editorial.

"A week never goes by anymore that homosexuals and their sordid behaviour don't become further entrenched in society," he wrote.

"Unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn't wipe out humanity, they're here to stay."

He went on to complain about anti-homophobic demonstrations and to blame gay people for the AIDS epidemic.

"How can these people call for rights when they're responsible for the greatest medical dilemma known to man  Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome?"

Mr McCormack's remarks were criticised at the time, and he apologised on behalf of The Daily Advertiser after the column's publication.

It was dredged up again in 2017 as Australia prepared to vote in a postal survey on marriage equality, for which Mr McCormack had some responsibility as the Small Business Minister. 

His ministerial colleague Christopher Pyne said the comments were "not acceptable", and Mr Mccormack issued a statement apologising for his past homophobia.

"I have grown and learnt not only to tolerate, but to accept all people regardless of their sexual orientation or any other trait or feature which makes each of us different and unique," he said.

Many people have taken to social media to voice their displeasure at Mr McCormack's appointment as Deputy Prime Minister.