Carl Katter

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Carl Katter
Personal details
Born (1978-01-12) 12 January 1978 (age 38)
Brisbane, Australia
Political party Labor (2012–)
Relations 6 siblings including:
Parents Bob Katter Sr.
Joycelyn Steel
Residence Melbourne, Australia
Profession Politician
Website Victorian Labor profile

Carl Robert Katter (born 12 January 1978) is a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and is that party's candidate for the seat of Higgins for the 2016 federal election.[1][2] Carl Katter is also well known for being an LGBT rights advocate.

Early years and background[edit]

Carl Katter was born in Brisbane, Queensland, and he grew up in the north west of the state. His parents were federal MP Bob Katter, Sr. and Joy Katter, and he is a member of a widely respected pioneering Queensland family.[3] Carl came out as gay at the age of 18.[4] Growing up gay in Far North Queensland and experiencing many of the negative attitudes of those in his community towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people – including once being beaten up in Charters Towers, the town where he grew up, because of his sexuality – left an indelible mark on Carl's character, thereby contributing towards his activist life.[5] In an interview, Carl once described his fear as a same-sex attracted young person in Northern Queensland:

"Having travelled the world as an adult and walked the streets of many international cities, I have never felt as scared as when I would walk the streets of Charters Towers after dark...I am definitely one of the lucky ones; I got out and avoided having to resort to taking my own life during those hard years."

Bob Katter Sr, Carl's father, who died when Carl was 12 years old, was a member of the Australian Parliament representing the federal electorate of Kennedy. The younger Katter was heavily influenced by his father's labour and trade unionist politics as well as his father's belief in equality for people of all races.[6]

Activism[edit]

In August 2011, Bob Katter Jr, Katter's half-brother and member of Parliament representing the seat of Kennedy, like his father before him, appeared at a right wing Christian rally at the Great Hall in Parliament House and decried same-sex marriage.[7] Carl reportedly watched on television as his half-brother mocked same-sex marriage and suggested that it "deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed."[8]

Deciding publicly to come out regarding his own homosexuality, Carl Katter join the push for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia.[7] He approached GetUp!, an independent Australian grass-roots community advocacy organisation,[9] and with their help produced an online video message to counter his brother's comments. In a television interview with George Negus, Katter said that he could not "just sit back" and allow Bob Katter Jr. to denigrate gay people and the campaign for same-sex marriage, saying: "it's hurtful, it's dangerous, and it's really inappropriate."[10][11]

Katter has stated that he believes that it is better to combat his brother's views and educate rather than attack his brother on a personal level.[12] He also holds the work that his brother has done for the Kennedy electorate and elsewhere in high regard.[13]

Carl is a member of the Labor Environment Action Network, and wants to continue to build on Labor’s world leading approach to climate change in the implimentation of the party's policy when it is next elected to national government.

Recognition[edit]

In 2011, Katter was included in The Age's Top 100 most influential Melburnians.[14]

Engagement[edit]

He was a guest speaker at the Metropolitan Community Church's 2011 annual Christmas event, hosted by Justice Michael Kirby, where he gave a speech about marriage equality.[15]

In 2014, Katter was asked to be the keynote speaker at the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships, also known as the Easters, hosted that year by Monash University.[16]

Political career[edit]

He was the Labor candidate for Higgins for the 2016 Federal Election.[17][18]

Carl Katter opposes the incumbent Liberal/National Coalition government's plan to hold a national plebiscite on marriage equality having previously opposed any public vote on marriage equality through referendum,[19] instead believing that just as it was the Parliament which legislated to ensure same-sex and gender diverse couples could not marry, removing this discrimination is a matter for Parliament and should not be put to a public vote, especially considering that the issue is one about equality of rights and access to the benefits of the law for all Australians.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cook, Henrietta (23 October 2012). "Katter's half-brother joins Labor". The AGE. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Cook, Henrietta (23 October 2012). "Katter's brother may run for ALP". The AGE. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Lindsay, Ted (1990-05-08). "Death of Hon R.C. Katter". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0CF3wz2-wU
  5. ^ Jabour, Bridie (2 September 2011). "Apologise to families of gay suicide victims: Carl Katter to brother Bob". The Brisbane Times. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Hewson, John (1990-05-08). "Death of Hon R.C. Katter". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  7. ^ a b Coorey, Phillip (24 August 2011). "Homosexuality separates Katters". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Wright, Tony (24 August 2011). "No gays, Bob? Try closer to home". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "About GetUp!". GetUp!. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Walker, Jamie (24 August 2011). "Katter's gay sibling hits back at Bob". The Australian. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Jabour, Bridie (23 August 2011). "Katter's gay brother airs his disgust". The Brisbane Times. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  12. ^ "Carl Katter interview". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  13. ^ BunyipBlue1 (2012-03-15), Outrage grows over anti-gay political ad., retrieved 2016-02-24 
  14. ^ http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/from-a-lifesaver-to-a-judge-and-98-in-between-melbournes-most-notable-20111207-1oj8f.html
  15. ^ http://www.australianmarriageequality.org/2011/12/28/katter-regional-and-christian-australians-not-bigots/
  16. ^ http://hijacked.com.au/inside-the-australian-intervarsity-debating-championships-with-a-mass-debater
  17. ^ "Herald Sun". 
  18. ^ Website, Crikey (10 August 2015). "no conspiracies afoot with Katter’s candidacy". crikey.com.au. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "Carl Katter". ABC News. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  20. ^ "Opinion: A referendum? Yes, bring it on!". samesame. Retrieved 2016-02-24.