Cory Bernardi is attempting to delay the passing of marriage equality legislation in the event of a Yes win in the marriage survey.

The Conservative senator said it is more urgent to ensure all current MPs are eligible to sit in parliament, as the dual citizenship debacle continues, The Australian has reported.

While some politicians, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, have suggested marriage equality could be passed this year, Bernardi said the bill should be deprioritised while other matters including an audit of MP eligibility are dealt with.

“It is much more pressing to deal with the composition of the parliament to establish that it is actually constitutionally allowed to exist in its current status,” said Bernardi.

Bernardi has been vocally against marriage equality, but claimed he would respect a Yes outcome of the marriage survey.

“Eighty per cent of people, or thereabouts, have voted. I think that has exceeded the expectations of both sides of the debate,” he said.

Bernardi was criticised during the marriage equality campaign for making automated phone calls to one million households advocating the No vote, while claiming the Yes campaign’s text message strategy was “invasive”.

Like many No campaigners, he has made numerous comments conflating marriage equality with unrelated issues of gender and education.

Bernardi memorably inadvertently helped a South Australian school raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity after he criticised their dress-themed fundraiser as “gender morphing”.

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