Australia’s long debate over marriage equality faced one of its most
alarming days in 2012 when Liberal senator Cory Bernardi shared that
he was concerned that allowing same-sex couples to wed would lead to
an increase in bestiality.
In federal parliament, the South Australian senator rose to share his
thoughts saying allowing same-sex weddings would lead to “creepy
people” wanting to have consesual relationships with animals.
“It is another chip in the fabric of our social mores… Time and time
again the same characters seek to tear down our institutions that have
been built and have sustained our civilisation for thousands of years.
The time has come to ask, when will it end? If we are prepared to
redefine marriage, what is the next step?” the senator said.
Bernardi began drawing the bizarre comparisons to strengthen his
“There are even some creepy people out there – and I say “creepy”
deliberately – who are unfortunately afforded a great deal more
respect than I believe they deserve. These creepy people say it is
okay to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals.
“The next step, quite frankly, is having three people or four people
that love each other being able to enter into a permanent union
endorsed by society.
“In the future will we say, “These two creatures love each other and
maybe they should be able to be joined in a union”.”
The senator’s comments were widely condemned including from people
within his own part, and the following day he resigned from his
position as a Parliamentary Secretary.
Malcolm Turnbull, who was the Communications Minister at the time,
spoke out against Bernadi, referring to his remarks as hysterical,
alarmist and offensive. Turnbull told Sky News the senator was out of
touch with Australians.
“It does not represent the mainstream view of Australian people, let
alone the Liberal party. I totally dissociate myself from those
remarks.” Turnbull said.
Senator Bernardi later left the Liberals to create his own party, The
Australian Conservatives. After a poor showing at the 2019 federal
election, he disbanded the party and resigned from parliament. He has
since joined Sky News where he often returns to his concerns about
In 2019 during an appearance on Outsiders he restated his belief that
there was a movement that began with lower the age of consent, that
would then ask for multi-partner marriages, and finally relationships
While on his own program last year he raised concern about a
television dating show that disguised participants as animals.