Perth’s new Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas has come under fire after he told listeners of his radio show that genitals determine gender.
On Wednesday, Mr Zempilas was talking about the World Gay Boxing Championships on the 6PR breakfast show he co-hosts when he made what he has since called a “mistake”.
The Championships will be held in Sydney in 2023.
“If you’ve got a penis mate, you’re a bloke. If you’ve got a vagina you’re a woman. Game over,” Mr Zempilas, who was elected into office less than two weeks ago, said.
He also invited any women with a penis to call the show to win a $100 store voucher, according to ABC News.
After he was asked how he would respond to working with transgender city electors, Perth Now reports he responded: “Handle the penis?”
Mr Zempilas apologised for the comments on Thursday.
“One of the things that we’ve learned very early on in our training is that you’re always a councillor of the City of Perth and you're always, in my case, the Lord Mayor of the City of Perth,” he said, according to the publication.
“For a brief moment, at 25 minutes past 5am yesterday, I forgot that I was the Lord Mayor of the City of Perth. That was my mistake. It's my job to be better than that and it won’t happen again.”
Mr Zempilas said he was “not proud” of the moment, which did not reflect his views.
The Lord Mayor received swift backlash after the radio segment.
A Perth trans woman’s mum called ABC Radio Perth to say it was “disgusting behaviour”.
"[Trans people] hear those words every day and when it comes from a person of power, it enables everybody else to start doing it too,” she said.
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