Right-wing Australian senator Cory Bernardi has slammed Malcolm Turnbull after the Prime Minister answered a question about ‘homophobia’ in the Australian Government.
Bernardi resigned from the opposition’s frontbench after saying that allowing same-sex couples to marry could lead to sanctioning polygamy and even bestiality.
Appearing on ABC’s Q&A on Monday, Turnbull was asked if Bernardi’s comments were any worse than homophobic remarks made by Islamic preacher Sheik Shady Alsuleiman.
Turnbull responded condemning Alsuleiman’s views and saying: “The key to our success is mutual respect. That is the foundation of our success as the great, diverse, multicultural nation that we are – the most successful multicultural nation in the world.”
(Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull)
When ABC host Tony Jones asked if the Prime Minister had spoken to Bernardi, he replied: “I have said – yes, I have had firm discussions with a number of colleagues. Yes.”
Bernardi has now taken to his blog, slamming Turnbull in response: “By saying he’d had ‘firm discussions’ with ‘a number of colleagues’, Turnbull gave implicit support to the claim that myself and other Coalition MPs are ‘homophobic’ and implied that he’d had a conversation with me about ‘homophobia’.
“For the record I have never had such a conversation with any of my colleagues because they know that any such claims cannot be backed with facts.”