NSW Liberal candidate apologises for calling trans people ‘surgically mutilated’ on social media

Ms Deves has come under fire for public posts she appeared to make on Twitter last November, including one which reportedly showed a photo of a trans teenager who had undergone top surgery (surgery to remove breast or chest tissue).

“They will not stand for seeing vulnerable children surgically mutilated and sterilized in futherance of an unattainable idea,” Ms Deves is said to have written.

In another reported tweet, she claimed the pride flag representing LGBTIQ+ people “triggered her”.

“I get triggered by [the pride flag] … whenever I see it on social media I think ‘what now, what are they demanding now?'” she allegedly said.

Her Instagram and Twitter accounts have been deleted since online media outlet news.com.au reported comments said to have been made by the Liberal candidate.

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“My advocacy for the rights and safety of women and girls is well known, and I stand by my desire to ensure we protect the safety of women and girls and our entire community,” Ms Deves said on Wednesday.

“However, the language I used was not acceptable, and for that I apologise.”

Ms Deves is running for the key seat of Warringah in Sydney’s northern beaches, currently held by Independent MP Zali Stegall after she sensationally snatched the electorate from former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in 2019.

She describes herself as a women’s advocate who co-founded the organization Save Women’s Sport, which aims to prevent trans women from participating in female categories in sporting competitions.

On Monday Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised Ms Deves, his handpicked candidate for the Warringah electorate.

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In an interview on 2GB, Mr Morrison called Ms Deves an “outstanding individual” for “standing up for things that she believes in”.

She is supporting Liberal backbencher Claire Chandler in a promise to see through a bill in parliament that would

.

“I think it’s important that they’re raised and it’s got nothing to do with, you know, the broad agenda debates. This is just about, you know, common sense and what’s right. And I think Katherine’s right on the money there.”

The prime minister reiterated on Wednesday that she has “withdrawn and apologised for those views” expressed on social media.

He said he shares the views of Ms Deves in her support of Senator Chandler’s bill, not the views she had publicly posted on Twitter.

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Mr Morrison clarified the bill was a private member’s bill. He said he does not intend to make it a government bill.

Greens leader Adam Bandt weighed in on the issue, slamming the prime minister for what he says is starting a “culture war” by pretending to care about women.

“What this is about from Scott Morrison is an attempt to start up a devastating culture war that has the potential to claim lives,” Mr Bandt said in his National Press Club address on Wednesday.

“If we’re having a debate at all in this country, about how to support [trans people].

“People’s right to exist should not be the fodder for the political election campaigns. Trans people deserve our support.”

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