Australian Liberal Party Senator Cory Bernardi canceled an appearance at Oxford University this weekend in the wake of comments he made suggesting marriage equality might lead to calls for polygamous marriages and legal bestiality. On Tuesday, Bernardi said in a speech in Parliament: ‘The next step [after gay marriage] is having three people that love each other enter into a permanent union endorsed by society, or four people. There are even some creepy people out there, who say that it’s okay to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?”
The controversial politico was scheduled to address the European Young Conservative Freedom Summit at Oxford’s St Hugh’s College but withdrew because he felt his appearance would be a “distraction.” On Thursday night, Senator Bernardi—who was made to step down as the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary—told reporters he had been quoted out of context. But outrage still brewed in both Australia and the UK. ”We strongly condemn Mr Bernardi’s comments, which do not reflect David Cameron’s or the Conservative Party’s viewpoint in any way,” said Ben Howlett of Conservative Future, the youth wing of the Conservative Party.