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Cartoon by Mark David / @mdavidcartoons

Cory Bernardi and Tony Abbott have been exposed as homophobic extremists who exploit circumstances to their advantage but these tactics have backfired for both of them this time, writes Jennifer Wilson.

LAST WEEK finished on a spectacularly self-mutilating note for the "No" side.

Senator Cory Bernardi and Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott inadvertently exposed the dark spite at the campaign's crippled heart through a couple of straw-clutching stunts that only served to reveal the dire lack of substance in the anti-marriage equality tripe.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott provoked a media kerfuffle on Thursday (21 September) when he decided to report an alleged assault on him in Hobart, not to police, as one might expect, but to Andrew Bolt and various other representatives of the gutter press. He had been head-butted, he claimed, by a "Yes" supporter, in a totally unprovoked attack and this is all we can expect from "Yes" supporters who are disgracefully violent.

Eric Abetz – with whom Abbott later lunched – declared that if marriage equality becomes a thing we can expect that married same-sex couples will go round head-butting whoever they want because marriage equality gives legitimacy to head-butting. Or something.

Eventually, the Tasmanian police, alerted by media reports, contacted Abbott about the assault. They subsequently arrested Hobart DJ and anarchist Astro Labe, who stated quite bluntly that his attack had absolutely nothing at all to do with same-sex marriage. Astro just hates Abbott and half-tanked, took an apparently God-given golden opportunity to “nut the c**t”.

That the mainstream media unquestioningly ran with Abbott’s fantasy that he had been attacked by a marriage equality supporter because of his stand against same-sex marriage, is disturbing. As the story unfolded, it became clear Abbott had quickly confected the motives for the assault and the media went right along with his confection. I am tempted to speculate that Abbott’s opportunistic lies explain his failure to report the assault to police and, hopefully, will cause him some difficulties when the matter comes to court.

Senator Cory Bernardi took umbrage at the South Australian Craigburn Primary School’s “Do it in a Dress Day" — an event they’ve held for the last six years in which boys are encouraged to wear school frocks as part of a fund-raiser for African girls who are in urgent need of education.

“This gender morphing is really getting absurd”, thundered the chiselled-faced Senator who apparently believes if you allow a boy child to wear a dress for six hours he will morph into a yucky girl and a rampant homosexual and destroy the values of Western civilisation and all this ruination begins with marriage equality — you are being warned!

The school expected to raise about $900 for the African girls. At last count, they’d received some $270,000, as citizens outraged by Bernardi’s perverted attack on the generosity of little kids expressed their feelings via their credit cards. Bernardi has been left with an inordinate amount of egg on his Ken-like features, and his mean-spirited efforts to shame primary school boys because they don a frock has exposed the despicable lengths he is prepared to go to in his anti-LGBTI+ and marriage equality campaign.

These two men are, quite frankly, hideous in their zealotry and their willingness to exploit every situation in support of their cause. Both men have been exposed as extremists, who see the world through the lens of their bigotry and homophobia, always on the lookout for circumstances they can turn to their advantage. These tactics have backfired for both of them this time.

The mainstream media is also apparently biased against the "Yes" side, with "No" campaigner Lyle Shelton receiving three times – that is three times – more mentions than prominent "Yes" advocates.

You’ll be relieved to hear that Abbott received only a “very, very small swelling” on his lip. You might care to consider this alongside the murderous violence perpetrated against gays, for example, and the astounding lack of interest and concern the media and authorities have shown to these atrocities.

Postscript

I have just – with my own eyes – seen a photo of Bernardi and his wife in their own home with a large painting of Australia’s most famous gender morpher, Dame Edna Everage, on the wall. Nobody could make this stuff up. Nobody. 

You can follow Jennifer Wilson on her blog No Place for Sheep or on Twitter @NoPlaceForSheep. This article was republished with permission.

Original cartoon by Mark David is published with permission. You can see more cartoons from Mark on his website Mark David Cartoons or follow him on Twitter @mdavidcartoons.

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