On This Gay Day: Cory Bernardi raised concerns about bestiality

In 2012 Liberal senator Cory Bernardi shared his bestiality concerns

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 opposing argument.

“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 bestiality.

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 with animals.

While on his own program last year he raised concern about a television dating show that disguised participants as animals.

Remembering the ballet great Kelvin Coe

Australian ballet dancer Kelvin Coe was on this day in 1946. Coe became one of the first stars of The Australian Ballet and performed around the globe, he died of an AIDS related illness.

Coe was discovered by Dame Peggy van Praagh when she was recruiting for the newly formed Australian Ballet. He was just 16 when he began his career, and within four years was a soloist with the company. He became a principal dancer in 1968 and achieved the ultimate position of premier danseur in 1974.

During his long career Coe partnered with many famous ballerinas including Maina Gielguid, Margot Fonteyn, Marilyn Jones and Marilyn Rowe. He is remembered for his performances in Giselle, Les Sylphides, The Prodigal Son and Don Quixote. 

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1980.

In his later career he joined the Sydney Dance Company and also taught at the Australian Ballet School. The Australian Ballet now award a scholarship to promising young artists in his name. He is also remembered by a panel in the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

OIP Staff, This post was first published in 2022. 

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