June 14 - An Australian radio host is suspended after asking Prime Minister Julia Gillard if her partner was gay. Tom Dinham reports.
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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is at the centre of another media controversy. In a radio interview on Thursday a host posed some unexpected questions about her partner Tim Mathieson.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD SAYING IN RESPONSE TO COMMENT BY FAIRFAX RADIO HOST HOWARD SATTLER:
FAIRFAX RADIO HOST HOWARD SATTLER SAYING: "TIM'S GAY?
GILLARD SAYING IN RESPONSE: "Well."
FAIRFAX RADIO HOST HOWARD SATTLER SAYING: "IT'S NOT ME SAYING IT, IT'S A MYTH?"
GILLARD SAYING IN RESPONSE: "That's absurd."
FAIRFAX RADIO HOST HOWARD SATTLER SAYING: "YOU HEAR IT, HE MUST BE GAY, HE'S A HAIRDRESSER. YOU HEARD IT. IT'S NOT ME SAYING IT."
GILLARD SAYING IN RESPONSE: "Well, I mean, Howard, I don't know whether every silly thing that gets said is going to be repeated to me now. But you know, to all the hairdressers out there, including the men who are listening, I don't think in life one can actually look at a whole profession full of different human beings and say 'Gee we know something about every one of those human beings', I mean, it's absurd isn't it?''
The company was later reported to have apologised to Gillard for 'disrespectful and irrelevant' questions and suspended the host pending an internal inquiry.
While visiting an Adelaide school on Friday Gillard said she was worried her experience might put young women off public service.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER, JULIA GILLARD, SAYING:
"I want young girls and women to be able to feel like they can be included in public life and not have to face questioning like the questioning I faced yesterday."
Julia Gillard has often been the butt of sexist jokes from Australian politicians and the media.
In April Gillard was the subject of an offensive dinner menu that appeared at a fundraising event for the opposition.
The menu featured a "Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail - small breasts, huge thighs" among other offensive comments.
Opposition leader Tony Abbot quickly distanced himself from the menu, but Gillard has claimed her opponents are trying to force women out of politics.
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