Penny Wong Ran Predictable Rings Around Cory Bernardi In A Marriage Equality Debate

Debating Penny Wong on the subject of Marriage Equality at the moment is kinda like stepping into the octagon against Ronda Rousey. I mean, you can give it a crack and run at her if you’re really keen, but she’s probably just going to rip your arm off in double time no matter what.

Wong went head-to-head with South Australian senator Cory Bernardi in a much salivated-over live-to-air debate on the topic at the National Press Club this afternoon – two more polar opposites on the subject you are barely likely to find. At least in the actual political field, at least.
Senator Wong began by referencing developments across the globe in places like Ireland and the United States, both of which passed marriage equality – the former by public vote, the latter by Supreme Court decision – in recent months, and stated that the Australian people had already accepted and embraced the concept.

“Activists, business leaders, unionists, sporting heroes, the parent of gay and lesbian children and so many more have voiced their support for equality. It’s time our national parliament heeded the call for change from the Australian community.”

“We are your brothers and your sisters, your sons and your daughters, your friends and your fellow Australians, and this is a debate about us. A debate about rights, a debate about intimate and personal relationships, a debate about the people we love.”

Her opening address closed with an assertion that the sky has not fallen in lands where same-sex marriage has been legislated for, and that it will not affect the Australian way of life in any way whatsoever.

“The sun will rise, heterosexual marriages won’t crumble, three-year-olds will still want more ice-cream than is good for them, but together we will have made a profound change; a statement to lesbian and gay Australians that we belong, that we are accepted, that our relationships matter, too.”

Senator Bernardi’s opening statement began – objectively – in the nonsensical, stating that “Marriage is not a right. It was not invented. Marriage simply is.”

On multiple occasions during his address, audible snickering and gasping could be heard from the crowd – predominantly made up of the nation’s media outlets. His principle focus was on the rights of children, which he believes would be under threat in the event that same-sex marriage is legalised.

“It is children who have rights and adults who have responsibilities, but that concept is being turned on its head by the advocates for this cause, because if you grant the right to marry for same-sex couples one can’t deny their right to a family, which immediately impacts the right of a child.”

Prior to the debate beginning, the ABC’s Fact Check almost anticipated this by posting a segment debunking the idea that children raised by same-sex parents are somehow at a disadvantage, confirming what most people know to be true already – that it doesn’t matter what gender the parents are, what matters is the *quality* of the parenting.

Bernardi’s opening argument closed by asserting “This campaign is not about equality, but it’s about personal desire and self-interest.”
But arguably the greatest moment from the entire debate came when the Senators began taking questions, and immediately Bernardi was asked about his previous comments that equated same-sex marriage to a “slippery slope” that would inevitably lead to polygamy and bestiality.
Though Bernardi asserted he hadn’t actually said that, Wong shot back – first invoking Hansard, and then delivering this stinging string of zingers.

If the media throng’s reactions are anything to go by, we’d say that’s a clear win to Wong. In Round One. Via punches.
via ABC News.