MEDIA RELEASE: No apology warranted says Leyonhjelm
Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has confirmed receipt of a Concerns Notice from the legal firm Kennedys Australasia acting on behalf of Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
The notice claims Senator Leyonhjelm caused Senator Hanson-Young “hurt, distress and embarrassment” over comments he made in the media between 1 and 4 July regarding her opinions about men.
The notice is demanding Senator Leyonhjelm apologise and pay compensation of a monetary amount determined by Senator Hanson-Young.
“Senator Hanson-Young’s action is without merit. She is also wasting her time, money and endless reserves of outrage, because I will not be issuing an apology,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.
“Apologising in response to the outrage of a politically correct lynch mob would be insincere. Drawing attention to double standards and misandry is not wrong and does not warrant an apology.
“The thousands of messages I have received in the past four days, from both members of the public and my parliamentary colleagues, have made it clear I have a lot of support.
“It’s obvious I am speaking on behalf of many colleagues and members of the public who, quite frankly, are heartily sick of Senator Hanson-Young’s confected outrage, her gross generalisations, and her tendency to collapse in a flood of tears when those insults and gross generalisations are bluntly rejected.”
Senator Leyonhjelm said the debate generated in recent days over the issue of misandry, misogyny and men’s supposed collective guilt was an important debate for Australia to have.
“Society deems misogyny unacceptable and I completely agree. But let’s start being consistent here.
“Senator Hanson-Young has a history of saying derogatory and sexist things about men and implying that all men are collectively responsible for the crimes of a few.
“If I went about claiming Aborigines, Muslims or women were incapable of controlling themselves and referring to them as pigs and morons — as Senator Hanson-Young has publicly said about men — I would be howled down for making such deeply racist, bigoted or misogynist comments, and rightly so.
“Many Australian men are, like me, thoroughly fed up with being collectively blamed for the actions of a few sick individuals who assault, rape and murder. Many sensible women are fed up that the men in their lives face these kinds of accusations.”
Senator Leyonhjelm said insults were routinely exchanged in parliament during heated debates but most politicians managed to take it on the chin and refrain from threatening legal action.
Media: Kelly Burke 0408 734 586