Current Affairs

Conservative leader calls a million homes to warn about ‘radical gay sex’

Nick Duffy September 28, 2017
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A conservative Senator is behind automated calls to millions of Australians encouraging them to reject equal marriage.

Australia is currently holding a public vote on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, at the behest of the country’s right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Though the Yes camp held a lead going into the vote, polling shows that the race has narrowed significantly, as anti-LGBT activists reap the rewards of a US-style scaremongering campaign and well-funded advertising blitz.

This week it emerged that Senator Cory Bernardi, the leader of the Australian Conservatives, is behind an effort to scare people into voting ‘No’.

The Senator has recorded an automated robocall in which he claims the vote will lead to “radical gay sex education and gender ideology”.

Cory Bernardi

In a recording obtained by Channel Nine, he said: “Hello, it’s Senator Cory Bernardi calling from the Australian Conservatives, and I’d like to ask you something very important, so please, stay on the line for just a moment.

“As a parent I’m deeply concerned about how changing the Marriage Act will affect families and children.

“Changing the Marriage Act will limit the right of parents to object to radical gay sex education and gender ideology programs from being taught in schools.

“Removing gender from marriage means removing it from all areas of our society, including our schools.”

Recipients are then asked to specify how they are voting, an apparent attempt to justify it as a ‘poll’.

The call will reportedly be targeted at more than a million homes across Australia.

Bernardi confirmed that he is paying for the call but declined to say how much he spent, telling Fairfax Media: “That’s like asking how much pocket money I give my wife.”

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “Taking the poll of an electorate or doing some market research is a time-honoured political technique and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

“I’m asking South Australian constituents and some in Victoria as well, because we’ve got MPs here, what their view of marriage is, and whether they want to see the redefined or not, so this is just polling an electorate, it’s the stock in trade of any political business, and it’s not invasive like sending text messages to unlisted numbers or to 12-year-olds telling them how to vote.

“Most home phones have listed phone numbers and you can get into the White Pages, but for some reason people feel that their mobiles are more personal space, and to have randomly generated numbers and have people targeting or telling you what to do through that seems to have upset a great many people.”

He insisted: “[The change] will flow on into other areas of legislation, and the lived example internationally is that we’ve seen parents’ rights being taken away when it comes to sex education in some schools.”

“We’ve seen some legal processes affected by this. We’ve seen freedom of speech, freedom of religion affected by it, and as a parent I do believe that you have the right to opt your child in or out of sex education classes.”

Bernardi recently tried to attack a school for inviting kids to wear fancy dress for a charity day – but it didn’t have the result he expected.

Senator Bernardi stormed out of the country’s governing Liberal Party earlier this year to set up the hard-right Australian Conservatives, after several leading Liberals distanced themselves from his increasing anti-LGBT activism.

He also claimed that a sex education anti-bullying programme teaches children how to buy sex toys and visit bondage clubs.

Bernardi was famously branded a homophobe by the leader of the opposition Bill Shorten after claiming LGBT anti-bullying programmes in schools amount to “brainwashing” from the gay rights movement.

He has previously compared equal marriage to bestiality.

Related topics: Anti-gay, Australia, Australia, Conservative, Cory Bernardi, homophobic, senator

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