Malcolm Turnbull is under pressure to rein in George Christensen after the controversial MP likened a school program that supports LGBT students to paedophile grooming.
Turnbull this week asked Education Minister Simon Birmingham to review the 'Safe Schools' program, which aims to address homophobia in schools, after a concerted campaign by conservative lobby groups and parliamentarians.
Christensen addressed a near-empty House of Representatives on Thursday, the last speaker to address the house before it adjourned for the week. The conservative Nationals MP for the Queensland seat of Dawson, Christensen made repeated references to LGBT organisations Minus18 and Twenty10, which Safe Schools Coalition resources link to, and claimed they promote and give information about sex toys, sadomasochism and pornography to young people.
"If parents knew their children were being exposed to this type of material, they would probably not let them go to school. If someone proposed exposing a child to this material, the parents would probably call the police because it sounds a lot like the grooming work that a sexual predator might undertake," Christensen said.
He made reference to websites with only the most tenuous links to Safe Schools as further evidence for his claims.
"Safe Schools recommends the transgender organisation Seahorse Club Victoria, which in turn recommends the Abode fetish club. Abode is located at the same address as The Parlour Lounge sex club, which provides sadomasochistic entertainment and rooms for sex," he said.
Christensen's comments have been met with furious backlash.
"To compare a program that's about helping young people to 'grooming' is utterly reprehensible. It's profoundly offensive and deeply hurtful," Greens sexuality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.
"The Prime Minister should condemn this homophobia, rather than indulging it through this senseless investigation into safe schools."
Labor MP Tim Watts also condemned the speech on Twitter.
@lanesainty this is up there with Heffernan comments on Kirby. PM should condemn this strongly.— Tim Watts (@TimWattsMP) February 25, 2016
Despite growing calls for action, Malcolm Turnbull has not given indication that he will reprimand Christensen.
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