Gay couple featured in John Oliver’s marriage segment call it ‘ignorant’

A gay Woolongong couple opposed to marriage equality have responded to US comedian John Oliver’s video which poked fun at their opposition, calling the US comedian’s take on their views “ignorant”.

Mark Poidevin and his partner Ben Rodgers came to national prominence when Poidevin called in to a local radio station to express how he was opposed to same sex marriage, highlighting that he himself was in a long term gay relationship.

The couple were then featured on a report on the ABC program 7:30, outlining their concern that allowing same sex couples to marry could lead to a ‘slippery slope’ where polyamorous unions are recognised and the age of consent was lowered.

Poidevin and Rodgers said marriage was “not their cup of tea” but they held no ill-will to those who were campaigning for it.

Comedian John Oliver made fun of the pair in a recent segment on his program Last Week Tonight, pleading with Rodger’s to find a new partner, telling him he could do better.

Poidevin has now told Channel Nine that he was “shocked” by Oliver’s take on his comments, and the US series had taken his comments from the ABC report and put them completely out of context.

“Anyone who knows me in real life knows it’s a complete joke and that’s how we took it,” Poidevin said.

“He is a comedian. We were not expecting an amazingly intelligent presentation on the whole discussion. It’s just a late night TV show.”

Poidevin, said he had never watched Oliver’s program before, but said he found the comedian’s comments about Australia’s decision to spend $120 million dollars on the postal survey as “ignorant”.

“We live in a democracy and people should be able to have their voices heard as long as it’s in a respectful manner,” he said.

Oliver’s clip has also been commented on by Perth based writer Ben Elton. Elton, who wrote the hot TV series Blackadder and The Young Ones, was appearing on Channel Nine Perth’s afternoon news segment The Pulse when he took exception to Oliver’s comments about filmmaker Baz Luhrmann.

“I agree with the point about the same-sex marriage survey.” Elton said. “I personally object to being asked to give my non-binding, or binding, opinion on the civil and human rights of my fellow Australians.”

“I totally disagree with him about his knock to Baz Luhrmann’s movies!” Elton proclaimed.

OIP Staff

Declaration: OUTinPerth Managing Editor Graeme Watson is also a contributor to The Pulse on Channel Nine.  

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