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Australian opposition leader upset about 'gays on boats' poster

Tony Abbott criticizes posters at the Health Minister’s electorate office that show him as homophobic, racist and sexist
Tony Abbott criticizes posters at the Health Minister’s electorate office
Picture: Courtesy of Ben Fordham

Opposition leader Tony Abbott of Australia is unhappy about posters that depict him as homophobic, racist and sexist.

Abbott told the Nine Network this morning (1 June): ‘It's tacky, it's not funny and Tanya Pibersek should be better than that and the Labour Party should lift its game.'

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek displayed in her Sydney electorate office posters that carry the slogans: 'I'm threatened by boats and gays. Gays on boats are my worst nightmare' and also 'Note to Ladies: Make me a sandwich.'

A Sydney radio listener earlier discovered the posters and forwarded the photos onto radio host Ben Fordham, who asked yesterday how Plibersek would feel if the shoe was on the other foot and ‘nasty posters’ of Julia Gillard were on display in a Liberal MP's office, according to the Herald Sun.

Deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop expressed her outrage at the posters and called for Plibersek to apologize.

The health minister issued a statement saying the posters were satire and that she had asked the staff member involved to take them down, yet she appeared unwilling to be drawn on the question of an apology.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey says the news of the posters capped an awful week for politicians and that all MPs have to do better. Abbot is offended but he is being pragmatic about the posters, according to Hockey.

Abbott has lauded his younger sister's bravery in coming out, but remains opposed to same-sex marriage himself.

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