Mark Latham defends homophobic slurs, saying Pauline Hanson fails to understand ‘how straight men feel’

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Mark Latham’s repeated homophobic comments are unworthy of an MP, according to New South Wales’ new Liberal leader, Mark Speakman.

On Thursday Latham reiterated hurtful comments he made about homosexuality and Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, suggesting One Nation federal leader Pauline Hanson could not understand “how straight men feel about it”.

The former Labor prime minister candidate is now the leader of One Nation in NSW and was recently returned to the state’s upper house for an eight-year term. In an online radio interview Thursday, he said Hanson hadn’t made contact since his original homophobic comment about Greenwich caused an uproar a month ago, despite a public statement that he had.

“Pauline never called me; I have had no contact with her,” Latham told Chris Smith.

“I assume as a woman you don’t understand how straight men feel about it.”

Related: Politicians Sidelined Mark Latham But Must Do More For LGBTQ+ Community | Alex Greenwich

She added: “He hasn’t reached out to me and I’m not apologizing, so I’m not resigning anything. I’m not apologizing or backing down.

At the time, Hanson posted a video to social media denouncing the comments and insisting Latham should apologize to constituents, saying she had tried calling him “a couple of times” to ask him to apologize.

“I want you to know that I don’t forgive them [the comments] and neither do my members of parliament or party associates,” he said.

“I think they are disgusting.”

Speakman condemned the latest remarks on Friday morning.

“Mark Latham’s comments were reprehensible and unworthy of a member of parliament,” he said.

“He should have the courage to say he did the wrong thing and apologize.”

Speakman has yet to meet with Greenwich since Latham’s attacks on the high-profile independent MP began. The pair are expected to meet next week.

Latham’s original comments were made on Twitter shortly after the state election in response to an article in which Sydney Greenwich Independent MP called him “a disgusting human being”. The article discussed LGBTQ+ protesters being targeted outside an event Latham spoke at.

In response, Latham said “disgusting?” and then proceeded to make gratuitous comments about a sexual act. The Guardian chose not to publish the full commentary, which was condemned across the political spectrum.

The tweet was deleted within three hours, but Latham on Thursday said he stood by his views on same-sex sex.

He stated that his views reflected those of heterosexual men.

Latham used the 20-minute interview to repeat his statements over and over again in graphic language.

Speaking after the initial comments, Greenwich said he didn’t expect to deal with homophobia again, but the issue has made him more determined to advance LGBTQ+ rights in the state.

New state premier Chris Minns called Latham a bigot after the initial comment.

“These are vile and shameful comments,” he said.

He called on politicians to join in the “unequivocal and universal condemnation” of comments like Latham’s that unleash “demons” on their recipients.

When contacted, Hanson declined to comment.

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