6 times Penny Wong OWNED Cory Bernardi in the same-sex marriage debate

The sickest burns at the National Press Club heat-to-head.

1. On the use of ‘won’t somebody think of the children’ as an argument against same-sex marriage:

C: A same-sex couple can’t produce children alone, they need assistance from a third party, and that makes a difference to the relationship for that child. If a child is loved, if it is developed and it is supported, that’s all we can really hope for in a child. But there is a different role that a father plays and a mother plays. They are complimentary roles, I think they have a different impact on how they engage with their children. I don’t think you can easily dismiss the role of one and I don’t think you should really dismiss it, but I have to acknowledge there are plenty of times where that [a child not having a mother and a father] is not the case. But I just don’t think it’s in society’s interest to deliberately deny those complementary inputs into a child’s development.

P: The arguments against marriage equality [surrounding children] ignore the fact that we already have children. So whatever people’s views about children, it’s not actually the issue in the marriage equality debate, as much as some people wish to make it so. I think that children need to be loved and nurtured and treated with fairness and firmness, I think that if we want to have a discussion about how we try and support all families to bring their children up in that way I’m very happy to have that discussion. But that’s a very different discussion to saying we have to exclude some people from the institution of marriage.

2. On rowdy marriage equality advocates overshadowing most of the population, who don’t actually want it, but nobody will listen to them :-( :

C: I believe, and I think it’s crystal clear, that this campaign [for marriage equality] is not about equality, but it’s about personal desire and self-interest of a vocal minority.

P: In his speech, those who want equality are referred to as the vocal minority, even though majority of Australians have indicated their support for marriage equality. I would say this point, we don’t shout you down, we don’t denigrate your relationships, we don’t suggest your children are somehow compromised so who are the people hurling insults in this debate?

3. On Bernardi’s comments about how ‘WHO KNOWS WHAT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE COULD LEAD TO. ARGH.’

C: I never said it [same-sex marriage] would lead to that [bestiality and polygamy], I merely said that if we redefine marriage it will lead to further calls for redefinition and other relationship types to be in there. I don’t know where that will lead. That’s been born true. In England, the Greens Party is now considering lobbying for multi-member relationships to be included in the marriage campaign. In Brazil you’ve seen judges say ‘how can I logically deny more than one person to have the same rights as a married couple.’ The same thing has happened in the Netherlands. It is taking place all around the world.

P: I would say to Cory that if you want a commitment from me that I will stand with you in a defence against bestiality being recognised as law, I’m happy to give that today.

4. On Bernardi's fear that people will be penalised for opposing gay marriage if it is legalised, and it will actually leave the country with LESSER equal rights:

C: If same-sex marriage becomes a reality in Australia, do religious institutions or people of faith have the right to not participate? Will teachers in schools be compelled to endorse same-sex marriages in their classrooms? Will even speaking in favour of same-sex marriage be deemed offensive and subject to sanction? All around the world same-sex marriage advocates have maintained that will not be the case, until they get marriage redefined. Then the process of eroding the rights of others begins. Charities, business and institutions who do not support same-sex marriage have been sacked, forced to close or change their practises because of their beliefs. Florists, photographers and bakers have been taken to court or faced thousands of dollars in fines for exercising their right not to act contrary to their conscience. But of course, we’re told that sort of coercive infringement on civil liberty and freedom of speech will not happen here. Unfortunately it’s too late, it’s already begun. Just a few weeks ago a convener of the same-sex marriage campaign encouraged people to lodge discrimination complaints against the catholic church because it decided to support the catholic view of marriage through their school system. A view by the way which is entirely consistent with Australian law.

…It’s not about equality for all, it’s only about equality for some apparently. You have to look at the lived experience overseas, and overseas we’ve had enormous issues with freedoms being curtailed on the basis of same-sex marriage.

P: He’s really hanging onto that slippery slope argument…

5. On how opposing gay marriage contradicts the core principles of liberalism:

C: It’s in our interest to maintain the status quo and if people in my party disagree with that, they’re free to vote according to how they’d like to.

P: If you prescribe to the principles of liberalism – liberals believe in the freedom of the individual. The position you’re asserting, particularly in relation to the party room, is a sort of collective dictatorship where the views of the many have to be imposed on the views of all.

6. On putting the issue to a free vote, and whether members of his party should be able to vote in favour of equality if they want to:

B: We’re in government, we have a policy position, it should be expected that front benchers uphold that. That’s cabinet solidarity, that’s ministerial responsibility.

P: But that’s not a free vote?