Small Business Minister Michael McCormack’s anti-gay editorial resurfaces

By @chelean on
Michael McCormack MP
Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack MichaelMcCormackMP/Facebook

Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack’s anti-gay stance decades ago has come back to haunt him. McCormack wrote in 1993 that gays were “unfortunately” here.

As the then-editor of The Daily Advertiser, McCormack wrote a column on May 1, 1993 to blame homosexuals for spreading AIDS. The vitriolic piece lamented on the “sordid behaviour” of gay people, saying that they had become “further entrenched in society.”

“Unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn’t wipe out humanity, they’re here to stay,” he wrote. “How can these people call for rights when they’re responsible for the greatest medial dilemma known to man – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome?”

As the Advertiser notes, he subsequently apologised for the column on behalf of the newspaper. He also recently repeated that apology when contacted by the publication.

“The minister apologised for the comments at the time and has done so several times since,” a rep for McCormack also told news.com.au. He remains opposed to marriage equality.

His apology did not seem sincere, though, according to Greens campaign manager Ray Goodlass. “It does strike me as odd; it is a complete reversal,” he said. “It makes me a little bit sceptical as to how genuine his apologies could be. It seems it might well be a matter of expediency.”

National Party leader Warren Truss was unfazed by the member’s comments 17 years ago. Truss told the Advertiser that McCormack already apologised. “As far as we’re concerned that’s where the matter rests,” he said.

McCormack’s comments were doubly concerning when it was thought that he was responsible to oversee the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ gay marriage postal votes. However, Cabinet Minister Christopher Pyne, who thought the remarks were “not acceptable in modern society,” said that McCormack is not responsible for the controversial same-sex marriage plebiscite.

“I don’t agree with them, I think they’re very unfortunate,” he told “Today” host Lisa Wilkinson on Friday.  “It’s a very unpleasant thing to say and I’m sure he regrets it. He is not the minister responsible for the plebiscite, the Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann is.”

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