Federal shadow Attorney-General George Brandis is the latest Coalition member to repudiate comments linking beastiality to gay marriage by former Liberal parliamentary secretary Cory Bernardi.
The Queensland senator (pictured) told Sky News today that Senator Bernardi’s comments were injudicious and inappropriate.
He said Senator Bernardi was allowed to “indulge” his views since he was a backbencher now but added they were not the Coalition’s views.
“It’s his own view – and I think, shared by hardly anyone,” Brandis told Sky News.
On Tuesday, Bernardi stood by a speech last month that linked same-sex marriage to beastiality.
“You cop it sweet when you get it wrong… but this is an absurdity when you can’t raise I think legitimate points with this sort of hysteria,” he told the Adelaide Advertiser.
Other senior Liberals distanced themselves from Bernardi’s comments including Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull.
On Twitter, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young deplored Bernardi’s continuing stance on same-sex marriage.
“Cory Bernardi stands by his bigotry on gay marriage. What an embarrassment to the Liberals. Shameful,” she wrote.
Bernardi was forced to resign as parliamentary secretary for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott last month for comments the opposition leader described as “ill-disciplined”.
“The time has come to ask, when will it end? If we are prepared to redefine marriage… what is the next step?” Bernardi said.
“The next step… is having three people that love each other be able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society, or four people.
“There are even some creepy people out there, who say that it’s OK to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?”
Bernardi pulled out of a speaking engagement in England following his controversial comments after they followed him overseas.
The South Australian MP had flown to England to address the European Young Conservative Freedom Summit at Oxford University’s St Hugh’s College.
In a statement, Bernardi said his attendance at the conference had become a distraction.
“I had intended to talk about Australia and the Commonwealth, but that message would be lost, and I don’t want to drag an unrelated issue into this important conference,” he said.