Australia’s anti-gay marriage Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce once claimed that equal marriage could harm the cattle trade.
The surreal claims come from Barnaby Joyce, a long-time opponent of equal marriage who is now Australia’s Deputy PM.
Speaking in 2015 while serving as Minister for Agriculture, Joyce suggested that letting gay couples get married would harm the cattle trade.
In an interview with ABC, he insisted: “Where we live economically is south-east Asia, that’s where our cattle go.
“When we go there, there are judgments whether you like it or not that are made about us.
“They see us as decadent.”
“I think that in some instances they would [see same-sex marriage as decadent].”
Mr Joyce insisted that he would be right because “every child has a right, absolute right to know her or his mother and father”.
He insisted: “I don’t think if you go and pass a piece of legislation and say a diamond is a square makes diamonds squares — they’re two different things,” he said.
“It’s not making a value judgement about either.”
Joyce has also previously justified his opposition to equal marriage by telling GQ: “On most streets of Australia, people do not give a s**t about it”.
The comments are circulating online again this week ahead of a public vote on the issue, which has been given the go-ahead by the country’s High Court.
Ahead of the vote, the tactics of the ‘No’ campaign has come under fire with campaigners claiming that letting same-sex couples marry is ‘political correctness’ and ‘radical gender theory’, as well as nonsensically branding the issue ‘transgender marriage’.
Meanwhile campaign materials from the anti-LGBT Australian Marriage Forum describe equal marriage as “stealing children” from straight people.
LGBT campaigners warned that the anti-gay marriage campaigns will be essentially free to peddle outright mistruths and homophobic smears with little recourse when the vote goes ahead.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten told the PM, Malcolm Turnbull: “I hold you responsible for every hurtful bit of filth that this debate will unleash – not because the Prime Minister has said it, not because he agrees to it, he clearly doesn’t. But because the Prime Minister has licensed this debate.”