Cory Bernardi hits back at Malcolm Turnbull for ‘implying Coalition MPs are homophobic’

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Right-wing Australian senator Cory Bernardi has slammed Malcolm Turnbull after the Prime Minister answered a question about ‘homophobia’ in the Australian Government.

Bernardi resigned from the opposition’s frontbench after saying that allowing same-sex couples to marry could lead to sanctioning polygamy and even bestiality.

Bernardi made the comments shortly before Australia’s Parliament overwhelmingly voted against a marriage equality bill in September 2012.

Appearing on ABC’s Q&A on Monday, Turnbull was asked if Bernardi’s comments were any worse than homophobic remarks made by Islamic preacher Sheik Shady Alsuleiman.

Turnbull responded condemning Alsuleiman’s views and saying: “The key to our success is ­mutual respect. That is the foundation of our success as the great, diverse, multicultural nation that we are – the most successful multicultural nation in the world.”

Cory Bernardi hits back at Malcolm Turnbull for ‘implying Coalition MPs are homophobic’

(Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull)

When ABC host Tony Jones asked if the Prime Minister had spoken to Bernardi, he replied: “I have said – yes, I have had firm discussions with a number of colleagues. Yes.”

Bernardi has now taken to his blog, slamming Turnbull in response: “By saying he’d had ‘firm discussions’ with ‘a number of colleagues’, Turnbull gave implicit support to the claim that myself and other Coalition MPs are ‘homophobic’ and implied that he’d had a conversation with me about ‘homophobia’.

“For the record I have never had such a conversation with any of my colleagues because they know that any such claims cannot be backed with facts.”

Earlier this year, Bernardi claimed that a sex education anti-bullying programme teaches children how to buy sex toys and visit bondage clubs.