Independent politician representing far north Queensland, Bob Katter, is upset that gay people "took" the word gay because he loves poetry so much. Really.
Katter told Sky News' The Bolt Report on Wednesday night that he had once admired the word gay while perusing the pages of a poetry book in English class as a school boy. Specifically he was reading 18th century poet Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock and came upon the line:
Belinda smil'd, and all the World was gay.
"It just conjured up a beautiful image," Katter said. "The most beautiful word in the English language. And they just thought, 'Oh good, we'll take that word, and we'll have it as ours'."
According to the Oxford Dictionary, gay meaning homosexual became an established term in the 1960s, but some sites suggest the term was used to describe homosexuality as early as the late 19th century.
At any rate, BobKat is still mad about it.
"Some people may be born that way, and I'm most certainly not going to pick on them, but I don't want them abrogating to themselves the right to take the most beautiful word in the English language and say, 'Oh now, that's mine'," he said.
The deadline closes today on Australians being able to enrol to participate in the same-sex marriage postal survey, and Katter claims the LGBTI community is now seeking to reinterpret the word "marriage", as happened with "gay".
"If you want have an arrangement of your own, have an arrangement of your own...but don't take it off us," he said. "And that is what is happening here, they are taking it away from us. The same as ... that most beautiful word in the English language was taken away from all of us. And they took it for themselves."
Katter — who once claimed there were no gay people in his electorate — warned that if gay people are able to marry, they'll come for other things too. And he sounded a warning that his loving relationship with his guns might come under threat.
"Well, what else are they going to take? Are they going to take our freedom to say 'We don't approve of what you are doing.'? A lot of people don't approve of what I'm doing. I love my guns. There's an awful lot of people who disagree with that."
Josh Taylor is a Senior Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Josh Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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