Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has told Kitchen Cabinet host Annabel Crabb that he'd love his sons even if they were gay, but that he wouldn't support their right to get married.
In the final episode of the ABC series for 2015, Crabb travels the Adelaide home of the conservative politician to discuss same sex marriage, multiculturalism and whether he has plans to break from the Liberal Party.
When Bernardi is asked about polls suggesting majority support for marriage equality, he says he doesn't believe that people always respond truthfully to pollsters. He is then pressed as to how he'd respond if one of his own sons was gay.
"That wouldn't change my love for them at all, but would I want them to get married? No," Bernardi says.
"I still think marriage is what it is, it should be between a man and a woman. That doesn't mean I'm going to love him less or anything else. But am I prepared to up-end and turn over civilisation's history so my son can feel better about himself or because it's something that I feel I want my son to be able to participate in? I say no."
When challenged by Crabb that the desire for equal marriage rights is a defensable human need rather than simply wanting to feel better about yourself, Bernardi says LGBTI people already have equality under the law.
"... marriage has always been what it's been and to redefine it to cater to a very small minority of the population I don't think is in the interests of our country."
"We should be treating people as equals... [but] marriage has always been what it's been and to redefine it to cater to a very small minority of the population I don't think is in the interests of our country," he said.
Bernardi goes on to says some of his gay friends agree with his marriage stance and that some don't. When Crabb asks about his relationship with his gay friends recently, Bernardi laughs and says it has "highs and lows".
You can watch the full gay marriage exchange above. The Kitchen Cabinet finale airs tonight at 8pm on ABC.
Video supplied by ABC TV.