Controversial candidate Katherine Deves is flanked by security as she makes a hasty exit from Scott Morrison’s Liberal party rally after receiving death threats from trans activists
- Katherine Deves was ushered out of a Liberal Party campaign rally on Sunday
- It comes after she got death threats for controversial transgender statements
- Ms Deves has been hunkering down since controversy but still feels she can win
Katherine Deves was ushered out of a Liberal Party campaign rally to avoid an onslaught of questions about her controversial opinions on transgender rights.
On Sunday, the controversial ‘captain’s pick’ for the northern beaches seat of Warringah in Sydney made her second in-person appearance since kicking off the campaign trail last month.
She has spent the last few weeks hunkering down after her contentious tweets resurfaced in which she described transgender teenagers as ‘surgically mutilated’.
Ms Deves also bizarrely linked cross-dressing males and and trans women to ‘sexual predators, even serial killers’.
The Sydney lawyer, 44, sat front row of a campaign rally hosted by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday but was flanked by guards who helped her make a hasty exit as soon as the rally concluded.
As Ms Deves made a dash for the waiting elevator, she was inundated with questions from journalists but refused to comment.
Katherine Deves was quickly ushered out of a Liberal Party campaign rally when confronted with an onslaught of questions
The controversial ‘captain’s pick’ for the northern beaches seat of Warringah in Sydney made her first in-person appearance since kicking off the campaign trail last month
She sat front row of a campaign rally hosted by Prime Minister Scott Morrison but was flanked by guards who helped her make a hasty exit as soon as the rally concluded
Throughout the rally, Mr Morrison tried to hype up local candidates and doubled down on his campaign promise that the Liberal Party offers the safest economic future for Australians.
‘A strong economy is not some certificate you put on the wall and admire from a distance,’ he said.
‘A strong economy is always at the centre of everything we do.’
The prime minister argued only the Liberal party could guarantee Australian families the opportunity of ‘raising their children the way you want to raise your children’.
Mr Morrison personally addressed several Liberal candidates in attendance but did not single out Ms Deves throughout his speech.
As Ms Deves made a dash for the waiting elevator, she was inundated with questions from journalists but refused to comment
Ms Deves has become a divisive figure following a number of provocative comments on her Twitter account – which she has since deleted – with some Liberal MPs calling for to be disendorsed as the party’s candidate in Warringah
Mr Morrison personally addressed several Liberal candidates in attendance but did not single out Ms Deves throughout his speech
Ms Deves earlier told 2GB despite being attacked for her comments on trans people participating in women’s sport, she has never contemplated backing out of the race to represent her region.
‘I believe this is very much an issue of equality and fairness and I have received messages of support from all over Australia,’ she said.
‘Australians are very much on side with my position.’
Current Warringah MP, Independent Zali Steggall, is the favourite to hold onto her seat.
Fordham mentioned Ms Deves had arrived at the 2GB studios flanked by security guards as she faced death threats as a result of her old social media posts.
Ms Deves said she had ‘drawn strength’ from meeting people in the electorate during the campaign as she battled intense criticism.
‘I don’t look at it. I have a great supportive team around me so I can concentrate on the job,’ she said of the ‘pile-on’ she had received as a result of her stance.
Ms Deves first became inspired to weigh in on transgender issues because she has three little girls who are each competitive in their chosen sport.
‘Little girls and young women should have someone standing up representing their interests and all I ever wanted was for this debate to be held in the public domain,’ she said.
Fordham asked Ms Deves directly whether she was transphobic.
‘Oh of course not, Ben,’ she responded. ‘This isn’t about (transphobia), this argument is about women and girls.
Ms Deves denied she was transphobic during the 2GB interview, saying she had attended Mardi Gras in the early 1990s and voted for same-sex marriage and her comments were not about ‘that’
‘Back in the early 1990s I was going to Mardi Gras, I voted for same-sex marriage, I don’t have an issue with that but this is about a collision of rights and we just need to be able to debate it in a respectful way.’
Ms Deves said she still believes still win Warringah.
‘I wouldn’t have stood up if I didn’t believe I had a chance to win,’ she said.
In the wake of Ms Deves’ comments, there have been multiple calls for her to be disendorsed, including by prominent Liberals North Sydney MP Trent Zimmerman and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean.
Katherine Deves told Ben Fordham on 2GB that despite being attacked for her comments on trans people participating in women’s sport, she has never contemplated quitting
What are the comments Katherine Deves has made that have created so much division?
Ms Deves co-founded the group Save Women’s Sport which aims to stop transgender women competing alongside biological women.
Since her endorsement by Mr Morrison in the seat of Warringah, a series of tweets she made have been unearthed in which she repeatedly criticised transgender people and surrogates.
In those tweets she described transgender children as ‘surgically mutilated and sterilised’, and likened her stance on the issue as being akin to the French Resistance fighters who resisted German occupation during World War II.
The tweets included statements like:
- ‘Surrogacy is reproductive prostitution. It is egregious exploitation of women, both the woman from egg is ‘harvested’ and the pregnant woman who gives birth to the baby.’
- ‘I really can’t find any similarity between vulnerable pre-Lesbian teenage girls seeking refuge from strict sex stereotypes and middle-aged straight men publicly performing a fetish because they’ve watched too much porn.’
Ms Deves condemned surrogacy as a ‘human rights violation’ while blasting a gay politician following the birth of his twins.
Ms Deves, who is a candidate for the key seat of Warringah in the upcoming election, made the comment last year in repsonse to a picture of US politician Pete Buttigieg and his partner Chasten holding their newborns.
Buttigieg is the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate in the US and is also the first openly gay person to be confirmed to a Cabinet post when he nominated to President Joe Biden’s cabinet as the secretary of transportation.
He shared a photo on September 5, 2021 celebrating the birth of his twin children Penelope Rose and Joseph August.
Ms Deves responded to the post saying: ‘Surrogacy is human rights violation. Women’s bodies are not vehicles for a vanity project.’
Last December, she labelled the process as ‘reproductive prostitution’.
‘It is egregious exploitation of women, both the woman from egg is ‘harvested’ and the pregnant woman who gives birth to the baby,’ she wrote.
In the wake of the controversy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison doubled down in support of his besieged captains pick.
‘She is standing up for women and girls and their access to fair sport in this country,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘I think she will make a great member of Parliament, she has learned in her advocacy in her private life there are better ways to do things to take things forward as a member of Parliament.
‘I believe that is how she will approach the task if she is elected as the member for Warringah, and I don’t think she should be silenced,’ he said.
Ms Deves revealed she has been bombarded with death threats by left-wing activists on social media.
High-profile Liberal moderates Trent Zimmerman and Matt Kean have publicly called on Mr Morrison to disendorse her over fears her views will haemorrhage support in inner-city seats.
‘I don’t think having candidates that want to spruik the politics of division is in the interests of the party or in the interests of those people,’ NSW Treasurer Mr Kean said.