Radio Host Howard Sattler Fired For Asking Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard If Her Partner Is Gay

06/14/2013 01:20 pm ET

Veteran radio host Howard Sattler was fired after asking Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a live interview if her male partner, a hairdresser, is gay.

"That's absurd," Gillard had responded on-air Thursday during the exchange with Sattler.

Sattler had persisted, arguing that people were saying it's clear Tim Mathieson is gay because he's a hairdresser. Gillard wasn't having it.

"I don't think, in life, one can look at a whole profession full of different human beings and say 'Gee we know something about every one of those human beings,'" she said. "I mean, it's absurd, isn't it?"

"You can confirm he's not?" Sattler pressed.

"Howard, don't be ridiculous," Gillard shot back. "Of course not."

A statement from Australian talk radio station 6PR, which broadcast the interview, announced Friday that Sattler's line of questioning was "inappropriate" and "disrespectful" to Gillard. The station also apologized to Gillard and Mathieson, and said it had "decided to terminate" Sattler.

An eloquent defender of women's rights and a deadpan comedian, Gillard has endured more than her fair share of taunting recently in the run-up to the Australian election, which is slotted for Sept. 14. Gillard had a sandwich thrown at her on two separate occasions, a stunt that many interpret as being overtly sexist. Just a few days ago, a crude menu surfaced from an opposition party fundraiser, offering food items designed to ridicule Gillard's physical features, including "small breasts, huge thighs and a big red box."

Gillard told reporters on Friday that she woudn't take questions about the controversial interview, but said she was concerned the event would have an effect on young girls and women thinking of running for office, according to The Herald Sun.

"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," Gillard said.

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