Australian Senator Lidia Thorpe was instructed to cover up her “inappropriate” T-shirt during a heated debate over indigenous rights in Parliament.
The exchange took place on Monday when the upper house was voting on the creation of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, a federal advisory body made up of representatives of aboriginal communities.
Thorpe delivered an impassioned speech, saying that the proposal was tantamount to “appeasing the white guilt” and arguing that indigenous people should have seats in Parliament instead. She wore a gray T-shirt with the slang word ‘gammin’ emblazoned in large white letters.
Senate President Sue Lines said the attire was unacceptable. “I invite you to go and put a jacket over your T-shirt. Slogans are not allowed in the chamber,” Lines told Thorpe. She later repeated the order because “any slogans that can be read by me are inappropriate.”
Thorpe complied, putting on a black jacket. “Gammin, as we know, is fake, pretend, a joke,’’ she said from the Senate floor.
The Indigenous Voice bill was ultimately passed by the chamber. The proposal will be put for a referendum sometime later this year.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urged voters to support the measure, saying it would bring about “a stronger, fairer, more reconciled and more united Australia.”