Most politicians who attended last week’s Marriage Day rally at Parliament House have distanced themselves from claims that same-sex marriage would lead to child-paedophile marriage — but only one said he would not have attended had he known such a claim would be made.
“It won’t stop at homosexual marriage — look for polygamy and marriage between adults and children to be legalised,” American conservative author Rebecca Hagelin said in her keynote speech to the rally.
She claimed there was “no greater evil” than same-sex marriage and invited rally participants to join her in a “war for the future of the human race”.
But while telling the Star Observer he would have still attended, Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce (pictured) disputed that anyone was pushing for child-paedophile marriage.
“I haven’t heard of anybody pushing for that,” Joyce said. “No one is endorsing or prescribing or has any truck with that sort of idea.”
However, he did think there were groups pushing for polygamy.
“The Mormons have been trying to do that for years and that’s oscillated back and forth between being allowed and disallowed and half allowed and under the carpet,” he said.
Joyce also disputed that there was “no greater evil” than same-sex marriage.
“Fascism and communism were pretty evil,” he said. “Hitler putting people in gas chambers, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot — I would have thought they were up there.”
A spokesman for Democratic Labor Party senator John Madigan said he would “certainly have spoken at the event” had he known of Hagelin’s claims in advance.
“This is an issue that is extremely important to an enormous number of Australians and whatever comments other speakers may make, we cannot allow ourselves to remain silent simply because someone espouses opinions different from our own,” the spokesman said.
Shadow Minister for Families, Housing and Human Services, Kevin Andrews, who told the rally that same-sex marriage would be the “destruction” of the institution, would not comment on Hagelin’s claims but stood by his comments at the event.
Reid Labor MP John Murphy was the only politician to say he would not have spoken at the rally had he known what Hagelin would say and stressed that he did not agree with her.
While still an opponent of same-sex marriage, Murphy told federal Parliament last Thursday that he supports civil unions.