Bernardi asked to resign over comments

LESS than 24 hours after Senator Cory Bernardi made comment linking homosexuality to bestiality, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott asked him to hand in his resignation on Wednesday.

Senator Cory Bernardi was previously the shadow parliamentary secretary for Mr Abbott, and on families - a senior front-bench role in Opposition.

But after he made derogatory comments that if gay marriage was legalised, it could lead to bestiality, Mr Abbott said he had to "have a conversation with him" on Wednesday.

Mr Abbott said Senator Bernardi was guilty of "ill-discipline and a lack of judgement" and he would have to do a "fair bit of political penance" after his comments.

"He knows that I'd much prefer that he didn't dabble in these subjects," Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott said that conversation led to Senator Bernardi handing in his resignation from the front bench, making way for two new appointments to the Coalition senior leadership team.

Both appointments would be serious contenders for ministerial roles should the Coalition win government at the next Federal election.

One Senator Arthur Sinodinos, the chief of staff to former Prime Minister John Howard, and a well-respected player in Coalition circles.

Senator Sinodinos will take on the shadow role of parliamentary secretary to the leader, moving him into a role with more direction on Coalition policy.

The second appointment was ambitious junior MP Jamie Briggs, who will take on the shadow families' portfolio.

The comments which triggered the Coalition's damage control manoeuvre were that "creepy people say it is okay to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals".

"Will that be a future step?" Senator Bernardi said in Senate debate on Tuesday night.

"In the future will we say, 'These two creatures love each other and maybe they should be able to be joined in a union'.


First gay marriage, then bestiality?

FAR right Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi last night said bestiality could be a "future step" if gay marriage was legalised in Australia.

Known for expressing his deeply conservative views, Senator Bernardi voiced his concerns during a debate about the marriage equality bill currently before the Senate.

"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," he said.

"These creepy people say it is okay to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?

"In the future will we say, 'These two creatures love each other and maybe they should be able to be joined in a union'.

"It is extraordinary that these sorts of suggestions are put forward in the public sphere and are not howled down right at the very start."

Senator Bernardi said he was sure there were "millions more Australians who share these sentiments", irrespective of whether they had spoken publicly about them.

"I will continue to stand with these Australians and to fight for traditional marriage because I believe it is what the people of Australia want."

Topics:  cory bernardi gay marriage

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