Transgender military officer says Tony Abbott should be praised 282



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The world’s most senior transgender military officer Catherine McGregor has come out in praise for the PM after he “braved cynical abuse” to support her.

She told the National Press Club that Tony Abbott should be given credit for his support of the transgender community and she had been humbled by his acceptance after she began her transition from male to female.

“In so doing, I did him a disservice, and grossly underestimated his capacity for friendship,” Miss McGregor said, in reference to her delaying of telling Mr Abbott about her gender reassignment.

“For that, he received cynical abuse from some quarters, and almost no credit,” McGregor said. “I find the reluctance of some in the human rights and gender lobbies to acknowledge exactly what Tony Abbott did quite puzzling.

“A conservative Catholic, who is far from the most conservative Christian in his cabinet, publicly embraced a transgender woman and got sneered at in return”.

Miss McGregor said that what Tony Abbott did for her spoke volumes about his ability to take a risk and she was glad that he accepted her as a woman because of his well known reluctance to discuss LGBTI issues.

“If living authentically has motivated the life choices I have made, then one thing I’m not going to do is shop a friend for a round of applause”.

She closed by saying, “Leadership is important. I think the prime minister provided that”. Do you agree?

The high-ranking military officer has had a successful army career, and is also a respected cricket author and advisor.


What do you think? Should Tony Abbott be commended for his choice to stand by his transgendered friend? Do you think this will change his views on the LGBTI community’s struggles in society? Has it changed your opinion on him as a person?

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  1. Big deal… so he ‘accepted’ her. Every person should be accepted for EXACTLY who they wish to be, and I don’t see why Tony Abbott deserves special praise for doing the right thing. When is hegoing to allow Marriage Equality for ALL Australian citizens and stop treating LGBT people as second class?

    13 REPLY
    • Noni, Tony Abbott doesn’t deserve special praise, but realise that his background and Political standing, where he gets criticized for his budgie smugglers to his choice of tie colour, he potentially left himself open to ridicule, but he stood by this woman. Everyone should be accepted for who they are, but I can tell you from personal experience of 63 years, in reality, we are a long way off from that. Until people accept people for who they are without coming down on those who do accept everyone’s diversity, there will never be true equality. Please, just be fair to those who put themselves on the line as Tony Abbott has done.

    • He picks and chooses. He won’t support the rights of gay people to marry even though his sister is gay.

    • No and explain how you think this would happen as the last two polls taken (one by the LNP’s own pollsters) have shown that 68 to 72% of Australians believe in, or have not particular objection to Marriage Equality Marie? These percentages are higher than those in the UK when they brought ME into law.

    • So girls, when we’re now talking about referenda and so on, why is the blame all on Tony Abbott’s shoulders. As a transgendered person the issue isn’t just on the legal/political issues, it’s with people in general. I have had some very unpleasant experiences out in the general public. The issue is public acceptance not just political etc acceptance. If members of the public can’t deal with the multiplicity of gender divergence what is ANY government going to do with a referendum?

    • I never said I WANTED a referendum Bobbi… I do not see why other people should get to vote on my right to marriage… I dont recall getting to vote on theirs. If my comment I was pointing out to Marie that if a referendum was held on ME it WOULD pass gong on current polls. My comments were not about gender divergence. And the blame for there not being ME is on Tony Abbott’s shoulders because he refuses to give the LNP members of Parliament a conscience vote on this subject. And they therefore have to vote along the lines he dictates.

    • Ok, chill, I respect what you say, I’m just sick of the politician bashing no matter what they do, there is never anything but criticism, I, too travel in the same boat you do, I just look back a long way and know we’ve come a long way, but a long way to go. I will be gone before we have equality in every sense of the word. Let’s be serious, women don’t have equality even though they can at least vote, is that acceptable?

    • I support gay marriage, as a matter of fact I support happiness for everyone and cannot comprehend why other don’t.. a happier Australia is better for all of us, as for Abbott..well he hasn’t exactly been a shinning example of truth, How would you know if he sincere or not? certainly does not change my opinion of him

    • Sick of Pollie bashing esp Abbot. Knockers should go pick on aome one else. Some are actually worse than Abbot. But wait. They are ALP!

    • This particular article is talking about Tony Abbott and his attitude to one Transgender person and then his whole attitude to the rights of LGBT people in general. The ALP are prepared to grant their members a free vote on ME, the Liberals under Tony Abbot are not. I don’t consider stating facts to be ‘bashing’ Carmel.

    • Did he ask for praise ??? I didn’t hear that !! Maybe some people should look a little closer into themselves and their opinions . And in case none of you know , LGBT have the same rights as anyone else . We have discrimination laws ! Marriage! that’s the only thing that is an issue . And , how come you never got stuck into the labor government about it . Why all of a sudden is it ABBOTS fault ? He dosen’t t make the laws on his own you know .

    • The ALP allows a conscience vote Carolyn Brown..Abbott won’t allow that and tell me why should this man be praised for doing his job? He is the PM, it not part of his job description to be rude to people. He should be supportive of all Australians

    • Of course he makes the laws Carolyn, and he could change the Marriage Act tomorrow if he chose, just as John Howard changed it in 2004 to state ‘man and woman’ when it didnt beforehand. Saying that LGBT people have the same rights as anyone else is INCORRECT… we dont, we are not allowed the legality of marriage, which makes our relationsnips ‘less than’ those who are allowed this right. I dont want to live in a defacto relationship, nor do I want to ask my partner to “Civil Union’ me. I want to be able to aske her to marry me. It has nothing to do with the churches, they provide a wedding. And I would not wish to be married in any institution that thinks less of me as a human being.

  2. When he accepts homosexuals are people too and just as this woman born in a man’s body is now free to live her life as a woman, gay and lesbians should be free to live their lives as they have been born to be… or lesbian, Being born with that sexual orientation, should not prevent them from being married. It’s easy to understand and show compassion for friends. He needs to do it for people in general.

    20 REPLY
    • Margaret, talk to people like myself, about the difficulties of living our lives to learn what is involved before criticising a man who has, instead of paying lip service has stood by his words and supported this wonderful woman in her transition, at the risk of his own stature in the community. Not easy, let me tell you. All I ask, just be fair, put your political difference aside and applaud his stance.

    • How has Tony Abbott supported the LGBT community by constantly denying them the right to Marriage Equality?

    • All I am seeing on these pages is Abbottaphobia! Get over it, talk about society’s attitude. I would bet that if this whole equality issue went to a referendum it would fail, there are more bigoted people than fair minded, an observation formed from bitter experience. And I have many, many beautiful, accepting friends around me

    • Marie, Tony Abbott has personally stated that being around homosexuals make him ‘uncomfortable. Its on record, go look it up.

    • Bobbi, I dont like to argue with you but the last two polls conducted in Australia indicate that support for ME is running at 68% to 72%. These are higher percentages than in the UK and several other countries when they brought ME into law. So I will continue to have Abbott phobia as you put it because he alone is standing in the way of a vote on ME in parliament.

    • Bobbi are seeing Abbotphobia as you call it because the man is is that simple..he lied to get into Government..if you don’t like it..don’t read it..I don’t like all these racist comments that have been on here either either..but I shut it out real fast and suggest you do the same. I support Australians being able to marry. end of story

    • The Catholic Church does accept Homosexuality. After all it is a fact of life, they are born that way, and should be accepted. Same sex marriage is a different issue. I thought Tony Abbotts sister is Lesbian, so why would he not be comfortable around her?

    • The Catholic church does NOT accept homosexuality Molly. And if they did, then why would marriage be a different issue? You either accept that LGBT people deserve all the rights of straight people, or you dont. Cant have it both ways. Here is a quote from an interview with Tony Abbott and I stand corrected, homosexuals dont make him uncomfortable, they make him feel “threatened”. As for the issue with his sister, Im sure they have a lovely relationship except for the fact that he refuses her the same rights to marriage that he accepts for himself.Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has revealed that he feels “threatened” by homosexuality in an interview with current affairs program 60 Minutes.

      During the story, which aired last night, journalist Liz Hayes tried to find out how Abbott’s conservative Catholic views affect his politics.

      Of abortion, he said that he believed it should be safe, legal and rare. “And I underline ‘rare’,” he added. Abbott is in favour of IVF because it is about “creating life”, and he is somewhat open to the idea of the death penalty.

      When Hayes asked, “Homosexuality? How do you feel about that?” he responded with, “I’d probably say I feel a bit threatened… as so many people.”

    • I heard that interview Molly and Noni is correct. I also add no way does the Catholic Church accept homosexuality. Just a few years ago openly gay people tried to receive communion in melbourne wearing a rainbow sash. They were refused. A gay teacher had better keep that quiet if they expect to teach in a catholic school. The Catholic Church doesn’t tolerate homosexuality let alone except it.

    • So how are SS marriage going to occur in a Catholic church. Do we have to change the LAW. As the oder gen dies off it will change. Young people agree with anything as long as it is all for them.

    • Why can’t SS marriages continue as they are, why do they have to change Dawn.
      If you are catholic, and I am, you were taught that God created us and we are all equal in God’s eyes. The Catholic Church teaches us that, and teaches us not to judge our fellow man, that only God can judge. Then they decide Gay people are sinners and can’t be married, cannot openly receive communion and certainly cannot openly teach in their schools. If God created man, then he created some gay ones, it’s not up to the church to judge them. Same sex marriages don’t need to change.

    • Margaret Peluso, are you talking about Tony Abbott? His sister is gay and one of his long-standing friends has come out as transgender – how is he not supporting gays?

    • For pete’s sake Corrine.. do your homework. Tony Abbott REFUSES to allow the members of his party a conscience vote on Marriage Equality. He, and he alone, is holding back this taking place in Australia as the majority of the Labour Party will vote for it as will the Greens. A greater percentage of the Australia peope have indicated in recent years they have no objection to this than the percentage who felt that way in Britain when the law came into force.

    • Of course he has stated personally he doesn’t accept homosexuallity even though his own sister is. It goes against his catholic beliefs. He forced a non conscience vote when marriage laws were prposed. Turnbull would have voted yes and the numbers were clearly in favour of that legislation passing but Mr. NO in opposition wanted to gain political points and refused conscience vote. He is a sexist bigot always will be.

      We now look like a real backward think country with even or should i say once again NZ looking far more progressive than us with modern times and thinking. They have a conservative government in power. This LNP are so bad even Fraser left the party.

    • By the way i am a raving heterosexual who has no friends who are homosexual and i also am not young Dawn i am approaching retirement. This is a human rights issue, human equality, acceptance of all, respect for all beliefs and lifestyles. Got nothing to do with young or progressive acceptance for progess sake. Just plain old fashioned human rights.

    • Well, after such an erudite, calm, factual and sensible couple of posts you actually DO have a friend who is homosexual now Richard, LOL

  3. Don’t know where to start. Tony Abbott deserves more praise than criticism for much of what he has done. However, to stik purely to this thread, I am a transgendered person and for the way Tony Abbott has stood up for Cate he deserves the most exceptional support and respect for his stance, not only as a Christian, a Catholic and as a man, I would consider myself honoured to have a person of his courage and stature to call himself my friend. Cate is blessed. Tony Abbott, you have my unreserved admiration, for you, in your position, to have left yourself open to ridicule for your support of Cate shows what an incredible man you are. You, ARE a man!

    1 REPLY
    • Bobbi, I think that anyone who didn’t stand up for transgendered people is to be pitied, it must be hard to be a dinosaur. Why should he be singled out for praise for accepting a transgendered person? Perhaps I might be a bit out of touch, but I thought any clear thinking reasonable person would accept people for who they are, not what some medical person has decreed at a child’s birth

  4. Not quite sure what he did, the article is a bit vague, I did not see the press club luncheon. Did he just embrace her in public? How brave (tongue in cheek) Does not change my opinion of him. He probably just expects her to do more ironing now.

  5. So? This should not even be thought of as being a decent thing…..because accepting people for their character should be the only thing that we actually consider.

    1 REPLY
  6. Why is there this hatred of Tony Abbott?? He has done something most people pay lip service to but don’t follow through. As a transgendered person, I have many friends and supporters who help me enormously, if you haven’t been there, don’t make light of it. It is a very hard road to walk, we don’t do it by choice, but at least Tony Abbott is paying more than just lip service to it. Be adult enough to stop critisizing everything Mr Abbott does and give some credit where credit is due. And Noni, it IS a big deal if you have had to spend, as I have, most of your life hiding who you truly are because society wasn’t able to accept you, not sure it really is yet.

    14 REPLY
    • Try and READ my comment Bobbi, Im on your side. As a gay women I know very well what it is like to spend your life hiding who you are. I just am unable to see why he gets special praise for doing what any person should do…accept someone for WHO they are.

    • Perhaps if he got the praise a few more people would have less animosity and we would gain acceptance a little sooner. I just don’t get this animosity towards Tony Abbott.

    • The animosity is because he REFUSES to give the LNP a conscience vote on Marriage Equality. Why should I give him any praise in regard to that? The majority of Australian (68-72%) in recent polls agree with, or have no objection to, Marriage Equality. The Government is supposed to be dong the will of the people, not his own private views.

    • You make it sound like a piece of paper will change your life . People ( and many do ) who live together have the same rights as a married couple any way . The time will come , I’m sure . So you obviously hate labor too ? After all they didn’t give it to you either , right ? Or is there a difference .

      1 REPLY
      • We Well said, Carolyn. The only difference is that piece of paper. A legal document yes but how many these days place any real importance to it? There appears to be another purpòse behind the push to change the marriage law. To me this post wasn’t referring to that particular issue any way but has been used to again push this agenda and to vent dislike for Tony Abbott. Let’s support our leaders instead of constantly criticising them. Yes, he is to be praised for what he has done. But how many do that?

    • I thought if it is made legal we will have to change the marriage act. I can’t see too many churches allowing it. & allowing marriages in a church

    • You are wrong Carolyn Brown the labor party allowed a conscience vote when they were in power Abbott refused a LNP conscience vote and marriage bill was defeated. It was well know if he allowed conscience vote it would have passed. Turnbull want to vote yes and could not.

    • I wish people would remember that a marriage is a legality. What a Church offers is a WEDDING! And how many Australians get married in Church these days anyway? Less than 50%. But these people, who use a celebrant, have all the legal status of the same thing done in a Church building. That ‘bit of paper’ as you so carelessly dismiss it carries huge importance in the eyes of the law and of society. LGBT people are NOT afforded that status. They have to lawyer up and carry paperwork with them to ensure that their rights for example, to make medical decisions on behalf of their partners are recognised in an emergency, their wills must be water tight to ensure the deceaseds family cannot contest and take their property, there are countless reasons why that ‘bit of paper’ matters. And yes, Dawn, the Marriage Act WOULD have to be changed, Just as John Howard changed it in 2004, as there was no mention of ‘man and woman’ before that time, he changed it to read thus The 2004 Amendment incorporated the common law definition of marriage into the Act as:

      Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
      Certain unions are not marriages. A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.[3]
      And it can be changed again just as easily, it has nothing to do with the Church.

    • Why should other people get to vote on something that is a human right Sally? Marriage is just that…a right. It should be changed in the constitution, quickly and simply. I didn’t get to vote on straight people’s marriages… why should they vote on mine?

    • I would like to say, without wanting to hurt anybody, of those people who have posted re this original post, and I’m astounded by how many there are, most of the negative comments seem to come from those who are not gay, lesbian, Bi, transgendered or any other of the myriad sexual variances, please just realise we live in a multi everything world, nothing is absolutely black or white, maybe thousands of shades of grey.I am transgendered, 63yo, it has taken me my whole life to arrive where I am, because society up until now has made it hard for me to come to terms with myself, still struggling, but getting there slowly. This whole discussion is so multi faceted it can’t be dealt with quickly. I just want to say, I’m trying to deal with my life as are others travelling in the same boat, please ease the restrictions on living a life not falling within the “norm” it is hard. Tony Abbott is taking a big step in slowly opening the doors, don’t slam them in his face for the sake of hatred of him, his religion or his politics. We are ALL human beings, hopefully, most with compassion.

  7. Easy to do for a friend it’s what we all do. He won’t get praise from me until he learns to accept all people who have chosen life partners of the same sex! As a Christian does he not believe that everyone has the right to love and be loved?

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    • Oh no perhaps Jannette is right, being Catholic makes him different to other Christians (Christian as in believing in Christ). All the more reason to be glad I don’t follow his religion. I try to see the person with feelings rather than make people fit in with my feelings. That is just my opinion, equally as important as Jannette’s

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