The home of Perth‘s new Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas has been vandalised amid calls for him to resign for controversial comments about transgender people.
Mr Zempilas angered transgender activists on Wednesday when he told his breakfast radio show it was ‘wrong’ for people to identify as a gender different from their physical anatomy.
‘If you’ve got a penis mate, you’re a bloke,’ he said at one point, prompting a wave of abuse that caused his brand ambassador wife Amy to cancel her Instagram account and resulting in a petition calling for his sacking which attracted 10,500 signatures.
A source with knowledge of the vandalism confirmed to Daily Mail Australia on Sunday night that the family home had been graffiti-ed and that a report had been made to Western Australia Police.
The incident comes after Mr Zempilas made a two-minute apology video and statement uploaded to Perth Council’s website, topped with a picture of the 13-storey Council House lit up in rainbow LGBTIQ colours.
Basil Zempilas apologised repeatedly for his comments, in video posted to Perth Council’s website, in a televised press conference and on his radio show – but his house has now been vandalised
‘The comments I made were wrong and they don’t reflect how I feel,’ he said.
‘I made a mistake and it’s my mistake to accept. I have to be better and I will be better,’ he said.
Mr Zempilas also apologised repeatedly in a televised press conference and on his morning radio show.
He said he had learnt a lot, that he regretted his comments and that he was sorry for the hurt he caused and that he’d never do it again.
‘I didn’t mean to cause any offence. One of our jobs as broadcasters is to entertain, I was trying to be funny – it was not funny – it was inappropriate and I apologise,’ he said.
Pictured: the 13-storey Perth Council Chambers lit up with rainbow colours to support LGBTIQ rights topped Mr Zempilas’s apology on the council’s website. So far no forgiveness has come
Radio host, former TV star and Lord Mayor of Perth Basil Zempilas (left) with wife Amy (right)
Mr Zempilas had only been Lord Mayor for 11 days when he made the remarks while discussing Boxing Australia’s decision to bring the World Gay Boxing Championships to Sydney in 2023 on Radio 6PR last Wednesday.
After the conversation turned to transgender people, Mr Zempilas pointed out that if boys were born with a penis, they would have difficulty going to the ladies’ toilets.
‘If you’ve got a penis mate, you’re a bloke. If you’ve got a vagina, you’re a woman. Game over,’ he said.
He then offered a $100 Retravision voucher to any caller who ‘has a penis but is a woman’.
When co-host Steve Mills asked how Mr Zempilas would handle the prospect of meeting a constituent who identifies as a woman but has a penis, he responded by joking “handle the penis?”.’
Mr Zempilas, a former Weekend Sunrise host, came under immediate attack. His social media pages were bombarded with angry messages.
Basil Zempilas pictured in his video apology on Perth Council’s website. A new petition is calling for PrideFest WA to move from Perth’s CBD to the inner-city Vincent Council area
‘As a teacher we address diversity and kindness in the classroom, you just undid our efforts with your humiliating and sneering comments,’ wrote one.
‘I hope your kids never have to turn to you for support, because all they will get is a bigot with no empathy for anyone but himself,’ wrote another.
Electrical store Retravision publicly denounced Mr Zempilas’s comments in a statement on Thursday.
An online petition organised by Perth Scorpions Volleyball Club within hours calling for Mr Zempilas to step down as Lord Mayor.
It had collected 10,546 signatures as of Sunday night.
A second petition calling for next month’s PrideFest WA celebration to be moved to the inner-city Vincent Council area reached 3,315 signatures.
The annual festival has been held in Perth’s CBD for the past two decades.
Despite his repeated and profuse public apologies, there was no sign of forgiveness as of Sunday night and Mr Zempilas refused to comment to Daily Mail Australia.
WA Police would not confirm whether they were investigating the vandalism, or whether they consider the incident to be politically motivated.