Further newspaper columns from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack from his time as editor of Riverina paper The Daily Advertiser have been rediscovered, exposing his contemporaneous views on capital punishment, women’s sport, and yes, gay Australians.
They’re not good.
The Guardian reports that a 1993 column from McCormack openly called for the reinstitution of the death penalty, a punishment Australia totally abandoned in 1984.
After pointing to arguments that the death penalty may not prevent crime any more than the threat of a life sentence, McCormack wrote “there is a strong and growing case for capital punishment. Let’s face it, perpetrators of heinous crimes are getting off far too lightly.”
In an attack on women’s sport before the Sydney 2000 Olympics, McCormack wrote the inclusion of women’s soccer, beach volleyball, and mountain bike riding paved the way for “egg and spoon, three-legged and sack races, jelly wrestling and marbles.”
And, yes, decades before he proclaimed to have changed his views on gay Australians, McCormack doubled down on that column vilifying our nation’s queer community. Proudly branding himself “homophobic”, McCormack wrote “homosexuals want to be accepted as part of society, yet want special treatment.
“If this had been passed now, what further ‘favouritism’ would these people get in future?”
FWIW, McCormack voted to enshrine same-sex marriage in Australian law, after his electorate returned a majority ‘Yes’ vote in last year’s postal vote.
In a statement provided to The Guardian, McCormack reiterated the statements he made before many of us were born don’t necessarily represent his views now, and that the 90s were a very different time.
Here’s a hot take from us that you can dig up in 25 years: Olympic jelly wrestling would actually own, thank you very much.
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