Qld Labor candidate resigns over homophobic rant

Matt Wordsworth and Kerrin Binnie
Updated February 21, 2012 07:13:04

A teenage Queensland ALP candidate has resigned after admitting to a series of anti-gay rants on the internet.

Peter Watson

Photo: Former Labor candidate Peter Watson. (queenslandlabor.org)

Peter Watson has been forced to resign as Labor’s candidate for the Southern Downs electorate after linking homosexuality to paedophilia in website postings made around four years ago.

Last night the ALP issued a statement saying Mr Watson “flatly denied” the allegations, but the 19-year-old has admitted to AM that he did write the posts.

“I said that homosexuality and paedophilia were linked because there’s been some research done … and it’s been published by the Catholic Church, that suggests that 30 per cent of male paedophiles are homosexual,” he said.

“Well I made the comments, so I do agree with it.

“These comments I made about homosexuals were made when I was like 14, 15 years old, so we’re talking about four, five years ago.

“[But] I do agree in some sense.”

Mr Watson’s posts also described homosexuals as “social degenerates” and accused them of destroying society’s values.

“Well they do, well in a sense homosexuality does degrade our society’s values,” he told AM.

Mr Watson said the initial ALP denial was issued because at the time he was not “actually aware of what allegations people were talking about”.

Labor’s state secretary Anthony Chisholm issued the statement saying Mr Watson had denied the allegations to party officials.

“Well that’s what he told our officials at the time, clearly he has had a change of mind on those matters,” he said.

“Clearly the decision to ask for his resignation was the correct one.”

Labor will seek to have Mr Watson thrown out of the party as early as today.

“We will make a decision on that but I will be recommending to officers that Mr Watson be expelled, because clearly his views have no place in the Australian Labor Party,” Mr Chisholm said.

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