Maranoa election candidates talk gay marriage, safe schools
FEDERAL election candidates in the Maranoa are split on LGBT issues, with the Greens, Labor and One Nation candidates expressing pro-LGBT views.
Candidates were asked for their views on same-sex marriage, the Turnbull Government's proposed plebiscite and the Safe Schools program to coincide with International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
David Littleproud - LNP
LNP candidate for Maranoa David Littleproud said he supported the government's decision to hold a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
"My personal belief is I would be supporting the status quo of the traditional position of marriage," he said.
Mr Littleproud also said he supported the changes made by the Turnbull government to the controversial Safe Schools program.
"The Safe Schools program is around bullying aspects," he said.
"The changes will ensure those program has the desired effect on bullying."
Dave Kerrigan - Labor
LABOR'S candidate for Maranoa said he supports same-sex marriage.
Dave Kerrigan said he believed everyone was entitled to get married to whoever they want.
"Man and man, lady and lady, I have strong views on that," he said.
"Everyone should be treated equally."
He's labelled the Turnbull government's plans for a plebiscite as a "waste of time and money".
"Turnbull has done nothing really," he said.
"The country hasn't moved and some of our social issues haven't moved."
On the topic of Safe Schools, Mr Kerrigan described the government's changes to the program as "a step in the wrong direction".
"I can't believe it's 2016 and we're having this conversation," he said.
"We really need to look after all children, we have to support them as best as we can."
The Labor candidate, who has worked with suicide prevention groups in the electorate, said interfering with Safe Schools was "disastrous".
"Young people with gender issues, doubts about their sexuality, need as much support and education and understanding from adults and the general community and population," he said.
Lynette Keehn - One Nation
AS A mother of a gay child, One Nation Lynette Keehn is a supporter of people's life choices.
"My daughter is gay, she's been in a loving relationship for the past 10 years and I fully support her 100%," she said.
Ms Keehn said she believed Australians should have the right to vote in a plebiscite.
"I don't condone bullying or victimisation of people for their personal choices," she said.
"We also need to acknowledge same-sex couples in de facto relationships should have the same property rights."
The One Nation candidate believes education through programs such as Safe Schools was important.
"Children need to know so they don't carry on and end up being the bullies of the future," she said.
"Education on a big scale has to start at a very young age.
"I do believe we might stop some of this victimisation by educating."
Rick Gurnett - Katter
KATTER'S Australian Party candidate Rick Gurnett strongly disagrees with same-sex marriage.
He believe marriage is sacred for a man and a woman.
"I'm quite happy for same-sex couples to have a union," he said.
"But they don't have to steal the marriage title from heterosexual couples."
Describing the Turnbull government's plebiscite as a "waste of money", Mr Gurnett questioned its timing.
"I think Tony Abbott should have been strong and made a decision," he said.
"Why couldn't (the plebiscite) have been at election time, it would cost less money."
On the issue of the Safe Schools program, the KAP candidate said it was ridiculous.
He believes it was "wrapping children in cotton wool".
"There was children that turned out to be gays that I went to school with, they never copped a harder time than anyone else," he said.
"That's life, life is a bit tough sometimes.
"If you're a bit different of something, you've got to learn to deal with it."
While Mr Gurnett believes nobody should be bullied or targeted for being different, he thinks Safe Schools goes "much too far".
"I'm against all this allowing children to use whatever toilets they want," he said.
"All those things have been done over generations for a reason.
"We don't need to lower morals."
Katherine Hompes - Greens
GAY rights is a topic of passion for Greens candidate Katherine Hompes.
Ms Hompes said a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage would end the discrimination right now.
"We don't need a pointless, expensive and divisive plebiscite that isn't even binding," she said.
"I support marriage equality and safe schools because to me, it's about basic human rights and dignity, not politics."
Speaking about International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Green Candidate said it shone a light on how far we are yet to travel when it comes to equality for LGBTI+ people in our community.
"It is a particular issue in Maranoa, where we don't have the same resources available for queer youth as might be in the cities," she said.
"LGBTI+ issues are our issues. Even if they don't affect us personally, we likely know queer friends, family, co workers or neighbours.
"It is time we step forward and refuse to allow discrimination any longer."