Latrobe city councillor Christine Sindt facing vilification complaint over same-sex marriage Facebook comments
An anti-discrimination campaigner has lodged a vilification complaint against south-east Victorian based Latrobe city councillor, Christine Sindt.
Cr Sindt made comments on her Facebook page criticising federal MP Darren Chester for his support of same-sex marriage.
The exact comments cannot be reported for legal reasons.
New South Wales based Garry Burns campaigns against commentators and high-profile people who link homosexuality with paedophilia.
He said the statement that Cr Sindt published could incite ridicule, contempt or hatred against homosexual men.
“We are all part of the Australian family regardless of those differences, whether we’re gay, straight, bi, tranny, intersex, we all should be involved in the gig, and this woman seriously needs to reflect on what she said because those statements are simply unacceptable in 2015,” he said.
He said Cr Sindt needed to explain her comments and apologise.
“Ms Sindt is a person in a powerful position,” he said.
“She sought to represent the people, her local constituency, on council. She cannot be running around stating those kinds of things that she’s published because those things are harmful.”
Cr Sindt’s Facebook page has been removed after threats of legal action by Mr Chester.
Councillor draws wrath of Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins
The state Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins, has criticised Cr Sindt over her recent Facebook comments.
In a strongly worded statement, Ms Hutchins said Cr Sindt had failed to abide by the councillor code of conduct a number of times.
Her response comes before an independent panel meets to examine whether Cr Sindt has done just that.
Ms Hutchins said she did not have the power to sack an individual councillor but said Cr Sindt needed to understand the responsibilities that came with her role.
Latrobe city councillor Kellie O’Callghan has taken to social media, calling for a reasonable debate.
“I think the rules are pretty clear,” she said.
“I don’t think there’s any confusion about it but when people don’t articulate clearly the purpose of their statement and the reasoning and the logic behind why they’re making comment then it starts to get very messy and I think that’s what we’re seeing in the public domain at the moment.”
The ABC has sought comment from Cr Sindt.