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11 Weird Comments Australians Made About LGBT Issues In 2015

These comments made people laugh, cry, and shake their damn heads.

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1. When Eric Abetz allegedly used Dolce & Gabbana as an argument against same-sex marriage.

Graham Denholm / Getty Images

It was reported in August that Eric Abetz had argued against marriage equality by saying gay men don't want to get married, pointing to Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana as an example. Abetz denied the reports, but didn't confirm whether or not he had mentioned the fashion designers.

2. When the Australian Marriage Forum compared marriage equality and slavery.

Australian Marriage Forum

After the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage across the country in June, David van Gend at the Australian Marriage Forum was furious. So furious that he saw fit to compare the decision with the one that legalised slavery.

“The Supreme Court’s slavery decision was eventually repented of and reversed, just as the homosexual ‘marriage’ decision will have to be repented of and reversed – but after how much social damage is done?” van Gend asked.

3. When Germaine Greer said transphobia isn't a thing.

Gaye Gerard / Getty Images

"I didn't know there was such a thing," the prominent feminist author said in a talk at Cambridge University.

"Arachnophobia, yes. Transphobia, no."

4. When a grown man quoted the dictionary to tell a child her same-sex family isn't normal.

Gayby Baby

News Corp columnist Piers Akerman turned to the Oxford Dictionary in order to refute an old quote from then 12-year-old Ebony, who appeared in the documentary Gayby Baby.

"Children in same-sex couple families are one in a thousand of all children in couple families (0.1 per cent). Statistically, you are not in a "normal" family, no matter how many LGBTIQ-friendly docos you may be forced to watch by politically-driven school principals," he wrote. Ebony wasn't fussed.


6. When Barnaby Joyce said Asia would think Australia was "decadent" if same-sex marriage was legalised.


Speaking to the ABC, Joyce said Australians should be concerned about how Asia might react to legislating marriage equality.

“What we have to understand is that when we go there, there are judgments, whether you like it or not, that are made about us… whether they see us as decadent.”

When asked directly if Asian countries would see Australia legislating marriage equality as “decadence”, Joyce said “I think in some instances they would, yes”.

7. When George Christensen suggested people who support same-sex marriage should also support America's interpretation of the second amendment.

George Christensen MP / Facebook

"I'm wondering how many people who look to USA and say we should follow them on "gay marriage" because they're America the Great would want us to follow their lead on the right to bear arms?" asked Christensen. In gun-averse Australia, it didn't go down well.

8. When the Australian Family Association released this bizarre anti-marriage equality pamphlet.

Australian Family Association

Between the baker, the incredibly early ~minister of religion~, the single wheelie chair and the strange lighting... it's deeply unclear what's going on here.


9. When Fred Nile offered some helpful suggestions for how gay couples can express their love – without having sex.


On the ABC's Q&A program, the NSW politician reiterated that he was against "homosexual acts, not homosexual people" and suggested “hugging” and “kissing” as some better options for same-sex couples.

10. When Victorian MLC Bernie Finn said his gay friends "have a certain flair" and are generally "very funny".

Rhythmbehavior / Getty Images

"I do have and have had over the years many gay friends," Finn said as he argued against a bill to legalise same-sex adoption in November.

"When I think about some of the more enjoyable gatherings over the years they have often been as a result of the input of one or more of those friends who are quite often very talented, have a certain flair, a way with words and are generally speaking very funny."

11. When the Australian Christian Lobby issued a press release asking the Greens to stop calling them bigots.


“Adam Bandt’s labelling of three parliamentarians ‘bigots’ simply because they are standing up for marriage between one man and one woman is a new low in Australian politics," the ACL said.

“All Australians must be free to discuss these consequences without fear of being labelled a ‘bigot’."

Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at

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