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Cory Bernardi Says There is No Discrimination Against Same Sex Couples In Australia Right Now

"There is no inequality."

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1. On studies which show kids raised by same-sex parents are doing pretty well.

Don Arnold / Getty Images

"I’ve got thousands of years of evidence on my side. I’m dubious about advocacy research. We’ve heard all sorts of research scenarios, whether it be about food stuffs, mobile phones, the raising of children, education, whatever it is, they approach it and they come to the conclusions they want to come to. It’s extraordinary."

"You’ve got to be a bit skeptical about what I call advocacy research. They have a look at it and they try to get the conclusions they want. You’ve got to wonder who’s paying for it, who’s behind it and establish the rigour of the standards."

"Climate change is another one. there’s a whole range of areas where I think research is designed to get the result they require rather than conduct a thorough investigation."

2. On being called a bigot.

Alan Porritt / AAPIMAGE

“It’s not that we [conservatives] don’t like homosexuals. It’s just that I don’t want to see a word re-defined. I think it changes a heck of a lot in our culture."

"There are same-sex couples who raise children and do a wonderful job. And do a better job than heterosexual couples. There are single parents who do a better job. But men contribute something to the raising of children. As do women. I think they’re both important."

"I’m not going to say no, you can do without one or the other, without it having any effect on the kid."

3. On polls showing the public supports marriage equality.

Paul Faith / Getty Images

"There are any number of other things that are popular out there amongst the populace on any poll, but it doesn’t mean they’re right for the country."

"And it depends on the question. If you ask people ‘Should same-sex couples be dsicriminated against?’, overwhelmingly the answer would be no, they shouldn’t be discriminated against. That’s my personal view."

"But if you ask them, 'Should children have the opportunity to have a mother and a father?' The answer would be absolutely yes. It depends on the question you’re asking."

4. On Liberal frontbenchers who support marriage equality.

Scott Barbour / Getty Images

"Malcolm Turnbull has been agitating. So he’s in cabinet. You’ve had the prime minister’s sister say the other day that Josh Frydenberg has been involved in it. Simon Birmingham has been involved in it. Kelly O’Dwyer has been involved. And you could go on."

"These people have frontbench responsibilities. It is their obligation to reflect the party’s view and not indulge in their own frolics and fantasies. If they don’t like it, take themselves off the frontbench. Go to the backbench and they can say and do whatever they please."

"We now have frontbenchers who are actively undermining that policy position and publicly saying ‘well they would like something different’. That breaks every rule of cabinet solidarity and ministerial responsibility."

5. On discrimination against LGBT Australians.

David Silverman / Getty Images

"There’s no discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. [They can't get married] but they can register a union. So what you’re trying to do is to re-define a word. You’re trying to re-define the word to embrace same-sex couples."

"There will be other people saying ‘You discriminate against me and my version of love’. Whether it be on religious grounds or anything else. You’ll have couples going to churches and saying ‘you have to marry me or you’re discriminating against me.'"

"It’s not about equality. I think that’s another word that’s been hijacked because there is no inequality."

6. On the possibility of a conscience vote in the Liberal party.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

"The Liberal party has had a history of unanimous support for maintaining marriage as between a man and a woman. It was never conceived that it would be any other way."

"Right back in 2004 the parliament unanimously voted for it. For us to ditch such a long-held position to make people feel comfortable about voting with their conscience I think is wrong. Every vote in the Liberal party is a conscience vote. People can cross the floor if they’re prepared to do it."

7. On Tony Abbott changing his tune on marriage.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

"I would expect the prime minister and the cabinet, and all the ministers to uphold the existing policy. And if they’re not willing to do that, how can they expect anyone to do it in the future?"

8. On marriage equality as a conservative cause.

Charles Mcquillan / Getty Images

"It’s a huge turnaround. 30 years ago they [LGBT people] were saying ‘marriage has no value. It has no reason to exist.'"

"But people pledging themselves to be a couple, with the intention of it being for life. It’s a good thing. And I think it’s a good spiritual bond for people."

9. On his controversial past comments.

Alan Porritt / AAPIMAGE

"I was hauled over the coals for one of the references I made, which was to Peter Singer and the Greens."

"The characterisation of what I said and what I actually said are completely at odds. But I do stand by that if you seek to redefine the words to be more inclusive of one group of people, then you’re going to face continuing demands for that."

"And we’re already seeing it. In the UK you have the leader of the Greens party saying, ‘well why wouldn’t we consider multi-member marriages?’ and that’s been pushed there. We’ve had a petition to the parliament by the polygamists, inspired by members of the Greens party, saying, ‘well if you want true marriage equality you’ve got to include us.’"

"Where does it go? Do we then say to the Islamic fundamentalists, well, you want four wives so, we should be including that’. You’ve got to ask yourself those sort of questions."

10. On the momentum for marriage equality.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

"There seems to be this momentum that people have jumped on to. But I think that’s reflective of how many people come into this place without a firm set of convictions."

"It seems like people are happy to jump on any bandwagon that comes along if they think it’s politically expedient."

11. On his opposition to marriage equality.

Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

"If you look at marriage historically over thousands of years it’s been about the union of a man and a woman, with the intention of providing an environment in which to raise children. A man and a woman are complementary. I think they’re both important in the raising of children."

"If you’re going to say now we can have two men or two women, you’re redefining that institution over thousands of years. You’re virtually endorsing that it’s not important to a child to have either a mother or a father because marriage is essentially about the children. And I reject that idea."

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