After a while of laying low, Barnaby Joyce has had an interesting 2015 so far, with the Johnny Depp dogs saga bringing the Federal Agriculture Minister back into the limelight.
And now he has said that making same sex marriage legal would be a “decadent” move in the eyes of our neighbouring Asian countries. You see, our cattle exports to Asia are at an all-time high and marriage equality would make them think differently of us.
This statement comes after frontbencher Senator Eric Abetz said last week that if Asian countries didn’t accept same sex marriage as legal, then we shouldn’t either – we want to maintain our good relationship.
Barnaby Joyce seems to agree with Senator Abetz – if we were to allow same sex couples to wed, it would show we were in a state of moral decline.
“Eric is right in saying where we live economically is south east Asia, that’s where our cattle go,” Mr Joyce told the ABC’s Insiders program.
“When we go there, there are judgments whether you like it or not that are made about us.
“They see us as decadent”.
Insiders host Barry Cassidy asked: “So would they see us embracing gay marriage as decadence?”
“I think that in some instances they would, yeah,” Mr Joyce replied.
He added he did not believe marriage should be redefined by the legislation, the ABC reports.
“I don’t think if you go and pass a piece of legislation and say a diamond is a square makes diamonds squares — they’re two different things,” he said.
“It’s not making a value judgement about either”.
Mr Joyce also said he viewed marriage as “a process that’s inherently there for the support of … or the prospect of … or the opportunity of children”.
“I think that every child has a right, absolute right to know her or his mother and father and also … should be given the greatest opportunity to know their biological mother and father,” Mr Joyce said.
It’s a controversial opinion, and again makes it abundantly clear that many in the Government’s ranks do not want to see our rainbow flags fly.
We want to know this evening: Would we look decadent if we said ‘yes’ to marriage equality?