‘To say that anybody who is alarmed about this ‘Safe Schools’ booklet is a homophobe, really Mr Shorten? You are so out of touch,’ (John Howard).
Former PM John Howard says he is ‘baffled’ that the ‘Safe Schools’ program has been taken seriously.
The retired statesman is celebrating twenty years since his government first took office and told Sky News that the taxpayer-funded program aimed at helping lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans school students is out of touch.
The program warns against the use of gendered terms in primary and higher education and aims to inform students about sexuality from a young age.
‘According to our culture and our society, those matters should be discussed by parents with their children,’ Mr Howard said.
He sympathised that bullying is a critical problem for children as well as their parents, but urged that there are better ways to address it.
‘You don’t need to be pursuing such a social agenda as the document is clearly pursuing in order to deal with bullying,’ he said.
Mr Howard also weighed into Bill Shorten’s labelling of Cory Bernadi as a homophobe during the debate over the matter.
‘To say that anybody who is alarmed about this ‘Safe Schools’ booklet is a homophobe, really Mr Shorten? You are so out of touch,’ he said.
The former prime minister also said that the marriage equality debate would be resolved without a plebiscite under his watch.
‘I would have preferred the matter dealt with by a free vote in parliament – I believe in representative democracy,’ Mr Howard said.
He conceded that Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t left much room to move after the change of leadership.
‘Having seen a plebiscite promised, the government must honour that promise,’ he said.
‘People would feel very let down if the government walked away from that commitment.’
The Coalition has come under fire after some MPs vowed that the result of such a plebiscite would not change their position in voting on the matter.
Mr Howard said that the reaction to this from Labor and some parts of the public are going too far.
‘In the end the law that would need to be changed is the law that was put there in 2004, and if my memory serves me correctly, it went through unopposed,’ he said.
‘I just think it’s an interesting thing in the light of some of the allegations that if someone supports the traditional definition of marriage, they’re some kind of far right-wing extreme homophobe – it’s an absurd proposition.’
– Source: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2016/02/28/howard–baffled–by-safe-schools-program.html#sthash.9IPcmDdZ.gf6f9vTi.dpufShare