Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi has claimed that the legalisation of same-sex marriage has led to “advocacy” for bestiality and paedophilia.
In an interview on Sky News, Bernardi doubled down on his infamous 2012 comments about bestiality which saw him sacked as parliamentary secretary to Tony Abbott.
“There are even some creepy people out there, who say it’s okay to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step [after same-sex marriage]?” Bernardi said at the time.
Bernardi repeated the claims on the Sky News program Outsiders last weekend, with host Rowan Dean telling him he was “hounded out of his own party” for suggesting that marriage equality was a “step” towards legalising bestiality and paedophilia.
“You got into awful trouble for suggesting several years ago that if we went down the route of legalising same-sex marriage we would end up with people saying, ‘Well, if love is love, that also applies to paedophilia,’” Dean said, citing “left-wing advocates in the US” whom he neglected to name.
Bernardi responded, “I did say in the Senate that you would have other calls to redefine marriage using the same arguments.
“That includes multi-member marriages, I reference [philosopher] Peter Singer and his advocacy and endorsement of human-beast relations.
“And we’re seeing a repeat of the 1970s, because in the 1970s there was a bunch of Labour politicians in the UK seeking to lower the age of consent.”
Asked about polygamy, Bernardi says he is seeing it “continue to be normalised.”
“There are elements in the community that are saying, ‘You can’t help who you love. I love two people,” he said.
“‘I want to live with both of them, we want to be able to get married, it’s discriminatory for us not to be married. We all want to be co-parenting together’.
“It’s hard to argue against it when you’ve redefined marriage to be something that it never was in the first place.”
The Australian Conservatives party published Bernardi’s interview on the party’s website in a post titled “The dangers of redefining marriage” which the post claims include “a push for further redefinitions including lowering the age at which people can marry, multiple-partner marriages and even advocacy for the legalisation of bestiality.”
Last year, Bernardi announced that high-profile “no” campaigner Lyle Shelton had joined the Australian Conservatives and would run for a Queensland Senate seat at the next federal election, to be held by May.
If elected, both Bernardi and Shelton have pledged to work to repeal same-sex marriage legislation and “restore marriage in our legislation and our culture.”