Senate candidate Gaynor stood down over anti-gay comment
BERNARD Gaynor, the former Katter's Australian Party Bundamba candidate, has had his senate nomination withdrawn and been suspended from the party after he said gay teachers "promote homosexual lifestyles, either actively or by example, to children".
Mr Gaynor, the national general secretary for the KAP before being named as a senate candidate, set off an online storm on Wednesday night when he tweeted:
"I wouldn't let a gay person teach my children and I am not afraid to say it #auspol."
He released a statement yesterday calling on Julia Gillard and Tony Abbot to back his calls for parents to 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," he said.
"This includes concerns over teachers who promote homosexual lifestyles, either actively or by example, to children.
This includes concerns over teachers who promote homosexual lifestyles, either actively or by example, to children.
"Furthermore, considering both Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard oppose gay marriage, it makes perfect sense that they would also be uncomfortable with teachers promoting a lifestyle that has serious negative health consequences and is opposed to the values of the majority of Australians."
KAP national director Aidan McLindon said Mr Gaynor would not be a Katter Party senate candidate.
"KAP federal executive regrets to advise that the membership of Bernard Gaynor has been suspended and his senate nomination has become invalid," Mr McLindon said on his own Twitter account.
"As is with all other democratic institutions, Mr Gaynor may exercise his right to show cause in relation to his membership suspension."
Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said a teacher's personal life was irrelevant to their profession.
"As far as we're concerned, a teacher is a teacher," he said.
"Teachers go through a very stringent personal appraisal process … probably more so than any other profession.
"To a very large extent it is our experience that a teacher who stands in front of a classroom is judged on their performance there."
Mr Gaynor made the original tweet in defence of KAP candidate in Victoria Tess Corbett who compared gay rights to giving pedophiles rights.
Ms Corbett withdrew her application for endorsement on Thursday.
Mr Gaynor said he wasn't concerned by the outrage his tweets had caused and accused others of bullying him with "hate-filled and vitriolic comments".
"The convected outrage on Twitter is not a reflection of mainstream views and the continued hate-filled and vitriolic comments do not scare me," he said.
The convected outrage on Twitter is not a reflection of mainstream views and the continued hate-filled and vitriolic comments do not scare me.
What do you think of Bernard Gaynor's Twitter post?
This poll ended on 25 January 2013.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion
It's offensive and he should apologise
It doesn't matter, his opinion is in the minority
I agree with his comment
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.