Last night, despite famously declaring that he wouldn’t be spending any more time on it, Independent MP Bob Katter decided he would have his say on the same-sex marriage bill, setting a new standard in deeply unhinged.
In a truly cooked speech that could probably be studied by a team of doctors, the member for Kennedy brought up everything from slavery, AIDs, Gianni Versace and a wild conspiracy theory Australia‘s population will have plummeted to just 7,000 people within a century.
“Bobby, this is rubbish,” Christopher Pyne interjected at one point, and tell you what, folks, he is not wrong.
Katter – who began by sledging everyone else’s speeches, a bold power move by the man now internationally famous for his mid-interview brain snap – proclaimed that he didn’t really know what all the fuss was about, because no one was getting married, anyway.
“I can’t remember the last time I found a couple getting married,” he said, with his usual air of bewilderment. “So, mate, we can’t get the heteros to marry—you’ve got absolutely no hope of getting that other mob to marry.”
After proclaiming himself to not be “anti-homosexual” and plugging his book several times, he then moved on the abolition of slavery, invoking Biblical figure Barabbas, and – we think – claiming the bloke ran for parliament in “2007 or 2011”.
“You might say, ‘The majority rules and the majority has it right, because this is a democracy.’ I think it was back in year 2007 or 2011—I can’t remember—when a bloke called Barabbas ran, and jeez he got a good vote! I can’t help but point out the abolition of slavery! We won it on a trick. We Christians won it on a trick. It was the only way we could get the abolition of slavery through the parliament.”
His speech then careened from topic to topic with all the grace of a possessed dodgem car. He used his allotted time to claim that heterosexuals have “genetic programming” over the queers, that AIDS spread as a result of blood donations, that boys were being forced to wear dresses to school (that one’s on you, News Corp), criticise Communism, something about the murder of Versace, and finally landing on the absolutely cooked myth that Australia‘s population will be decimated within the next 100 years.
“If you take out my cousin-brothers, the First Australians, and if you take out the migrant population in Australia—recent migrants—then we have the lowest birthrate on earth. We are a vanishing race. Bob Birrell, the demographer from Melbourne, wrote an article in which he said that the current population of Australia is 22 million and within 100 years the population of Australia will be 7,000. I thought, ‘This is ridiculous!’ I went down to check it in the library. He said that when 20 Australians die they’re replaced by only 17 people, and if that happened five times over a century then we would go from 21 million or 22 million people—whatever it was at the time—down to seven million people.”
While it’s easy to get lost in the high-key insane speech, it was also unfathomably homophobic, not to mention insulting that a bloke this deranged is paid six figures annually to pull this kind of shit.
At one point, he equated youth suicide rates with having “an extraordinary incidence of homosexual behaviour in Australia compared with other nations.”
His speech was slammed on social media. Jesse Matheson, the Director of Sydney’s Mardi Gras, called it “the most foul speech I’ve ever heard.” Others called it “disgusting, shockingly hateful and damaging”, and that they’d “never been more disgusted with a rep.”
Bob Katter making the most foul speech I’ve ever heard. So bad.
— Jesse Matheson (@Jesse_Matheson) December 6, 2017
I just watched Bob Katter speak on #marriageequality in the House. I’ve never been more disgusted with a rep. He’s a disgrace & I’m ashamed for my country.
— ????Longworth72???? (@Longworth72) December 6, 2017
I refuse to laugh off Bob Katter’s speech. It was disgusting, shockingly hateful and damaging. And plenty of Australians voted for him.
— Ben Neutze (@neutze) December 6, 2017
Somebody get this man out of parliament and into a nursing home as soon as humanely possible.
Image: Getty Images / Darrian Traynor
I’m not saying that Bob Katter should be urgently assessed by a psychiatrist but I’m not not saying it.
— Shannon Molloy (@sleemol) December 6, 2017