Nationals MP for Mallee Andrew Broad has likened men in a homosexual relationship to two rams mounting each other in the paddock.
In a clumsy attempt to defend the Federal Government’s planned plebiscite on same-sex marriage, he is now busy defending himself after his comments drew widespread criticism.
Elaborating on why he would never call same-sex relationships a marriage, Mr Broad told the Sunraysia Daily: “I think a bicycle is not a tricycle, and relationships can have different names.
“I can put the rams in a paddock and they might mount one another, but no lambs will come out.”
Greens senator Robert Simms, himself openly gay, said the sentiments behind the comments were “reprehensible” and he called on new National Party leader Barnaby Joyce to censure Mr Broad.
Senator Simms said the comments themselves showed one of the problems with holding a plebiscite on marriage equality, which could unleash the “mother of all fear campaigns” against LGBTI people.
Kieran Mangan, a gay man living with his partner in Mr Broad’s electorate, told ABC’s AM radio such comments were dehumanising and he was disappointed to hear such language from an MP.
“Same-sex marriage isn’t about breeding, whether it’s humans or lambs. It’s about two people being allowed to love each other,” Mr Mangan said.
“Directly connecting people who are same-sex attracted to farm animals — I think it’s a very stupid thing to say.”
Mr Broad has since claimed his comments were taken out of context but Sunraysia Daily editor David Alexander said he stood by the story.
According to the newspaper, Mr Broad also opposed a “rainbow sticker” campaign which encouraged local businesses to put the stickers in their windows to help the local LGBTI community feel accepted.