Australia: Same Sex Marriage Debate Unleashes Beast

It was bound to be a bad time for Australian Senator Cory Bernardi after he suggested in a parliamentary debate on legalizing same sex marriage that it could lead to marriage between humans and animals.

Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has resigned as [Opposition Leader] Tony Abbott's parliamentary secretary amid a fierce backlash over comments he made linking gay marriage to the social acceptance of having sex with animals.

Onliners vented their disgust with Bernardi’s remarks. Troy Murphy, a presenter for 2SSR 99.7 FM, operated by Sutherland Shire Community Radio, responded in the strongest terms:

Bernardi’s comments are a nasty suggestion that turns homosexuality – a normal sexual orientation – into something shameful and disgusting. Young people across the country who are gay continue to suffer depression, isolation and suicide because of this type of prejudice.

Why does the gay community have to be continually and openly belittled and humiliated in the federal parliament?

National Day of Action for Same Sex Marriage - Sydney

National Day of Action for Same Sex Marriage in Sydney. Photo by Jagath Dheerasekara, copyright Demotix (8/1/2009)

This kind of strong condemnation was quickly replaced by humour.

In CORY BERNARDI POSSESSED BY SATAN digitalseance tries to explain all:

Now, let’s not blame Cory. It’s not his fault that satan has decided to work through him – he’s in a position of power and satan obviously wanted to get rid of him, after all Cory has been an ethical whirlpool distributing virtuous diatribes against all the sinners he sees around him – and he sees a lot.

Scott Dooley describes himself as a ‘promising young comedian’. His tweet refers to a public relations encounter by Tony Abbott with a puppy named Mittens at the RSPCA earlier in 2012:

@scottdools: Does anyone have Cory Bernardi's address? My fiancé, Mittens and I want to send him a “Save The Date” card for our wedding. 19 Sep 12

Wes Mountain’s cartoon ‘Welcome to Civic Education Class’ tries to put Bernardi’s views in their political context:

Welcome to Civic Education Class

Welcome to Civic Education Class.
Courtesy – Wes Mountain of This is Australia. Today.

It's not all one-sided. Conservative blogger Bill Muehlenberg is organizing a petition in support of Bernardi and defends his speech in a post In Defence of Cory Bernardi on Menzies House:

South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has just been hung out to dry by his own party. Why? Because he had the guts to tell the truth, and his PC political mates were too chicken and too spineless to back him up. He was speaking on the homosexual marriage bill, and had the courage to suggest where all this might lead.

Tweeter Jack R Herman seems to be using Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: “reduction to absurdity”) in response to Muehlenberg's argument.

‏@jackaargh: .@menzieshouse and Cory Bernardi might let us know which animals they believe are capable of giving informed consent to partnerships. 20 Sep 12

Inevitably, there is also a Facebook page Support Cory Bernardi

Reese Williams cried hypocrite against the pages’ admin:

‏@reesieboi: The ‘Support Cory Bernardi’ is noting they need to support free speech but are deleting posts by those who oppose him. LOLOLOLOL #hypocrite
20 Sep 12

Meanwhile, Senator Bernardi is taking his new fame to the U.K. where he may not receive a warm reception from some of his conservative colleagues.

Cory Bernardi has flown from one storm of controversy to another, with British news organisations branding the South Australian as “disgraced” ahead of his expected arrival in Oxford this weekend.

It is a story that's likely to dog his political career for some time to come.

To sample the reaction try the twitter search for Cory Bernardi.


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