An Australian politician is voting against same-sex marriage because he thinks gay people can ‘turn’ straight.
Eric Abetz, a Tasmanian senator, has claimed there is ‘evidence’ that people who identify as gay could end up dating the opposite gender.
He has condemned the media for not providing a ‘more balanced’ report on sexuality and same-sex marriage.
‘So do you personally believe that gays and lesbians can pull up their bootstraps and show a bit of discipline and become heterosexuals, do you actually think they can stop being who they are?’ Sky News’ Samantha Maiden asked
Senator Abetz replied: ‘The evidence that has been given to Senate committees where people who have been in gay relationships have then gone into heterosexual relationships’.
Abetz trended on Twitter, with many users condemning his homophobia and mocking him for ‘discovering bisexuality’.
Lauren Ingram wrote: ‘Hey @SenatorAbetz, there’s a word for ‘gay people in heterosexual relationships’… (hint: they’re called bisexuals).’
‘It seems Eric Abetz has just discovered bisexuality exists,’ another person wrote.
Alan Vertue added: ‘What a relic. Abetz should be preserved in formaldehyde and displayed in a museum alongside dinosaurs.’
Another joked: ‘There is evidence intelligent people can become morons if they listen to Tasmanian Senator Abetz for more than 20 minutes.’
Mr Abetz defended himself in a statement posted on his website, saying: ‘News reports that I have suggested gay people can become straight “if they try hard enough” are not just another example of fake news but are also completely dishonest.’
The senator has also slammed businesses who have supported marriage equality, like Qantas, ANZ and Foxtel.
‘It is their right should they wish to engage in these campaigns … but the consumers of Australia should be under no misapprehension these campaigns cost money, and therefore the cost is ultimately borne from consumers,’ he added.