Homophobic slurs haunt McCormack

Homophobic slurs haunt McCormack

A SKELETON in the closet from Riverina National candidate Michael McCormack's days as editor of The Daily Advertiser may come back to haunt him in his election campaign.

On May 1, 1993, Mr McCormack wrote a column 'from the editor's desk' demonising homosexuality, specifically the role played by homosexuals in spreading AIDS.

He subsequently apologised for the column on behalf of the newspaper and has recently reiterated that apology both in an interview with the ABC and when contacted by the Advertiser.

But Greens campaign manager Ray Goodlass, himself a homosexual, believes the fact Mr McCormack once espoused such strong views made his apologies seem disingenuous.

"It does strike me as odd -it is a complete reversal," Mr Goodlass said.

"It makes me a little bit sceptical as to how genuine his apologies could be.

"It seems it might well be a matter of expediency."

Even if it was genuine, is saying sorry enough?

In modern politics, there's no doubt Mr McCormack wouldn't last five minutes if he stood by his comments of 17 years ago but given the opportunity to restate his position, the Nationals aspirant hid behind his apology.

"I apologised for it - I have moved on from it and as far as I'm concerned, that's the end of it," he said.

National Party leader Warren Truss was more willing to reject the tenor of Mr McCormack's editorial but he was sticking by his protege nonetheless.

"Warren doesn't support those comments," a spokesperson for Mr Truss said.

"Michael apologised for that editorial 17 years ago in another editorial. He also apologised three weeks ago on the ABC. As far as we're concerned that's where the matter rests."