Indonesia’s foreign ministry has dismissed the suggestion relations with Australia could be affected if same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia.
Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce had said Asian countries could see Australia as “decadent” if same-sex marriage was legalised.
On Sunday Mr Joyce was asked about comments last week by another frontbencher opposed same-sex marriage, Eric Abetz, who is the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
Senator Abetz suggested that if Asian countries did not accept same-sex marriage then Australia should not either, pointing to the often-repeated phrase that for Australia this was the Asian century.
“Eric is right in saying where we live economically is south-east Asia, that’s where our cattle go,” Mr Joyce told the ABC’s Insiders program.
“When we go there, there are judgments whether you like it or not that are made about us.
“They see us as decadent.”
But Indonesia’s foreign ministry has expressed a lack of concern about the issue.
Spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the issue was one for the Australian Government as it was an issue of Australian law.
He indicated that the Australia-Indonesia relationship was built on mutually beneficial aspects.
The issue of same-sex marriage has been back on the agenda in Australia, with confirmation that Liberal MP Warren Entsch planned to introduce a private member’s bill to legalise same-sex marriage, with cross-party sponsorship, when Parliament resumes in August.
Before the last election Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised to allow the Coalition party room to decide if government MPs and senators should be allowed a conscience vote on the issue, which if it was allowed would give the bill a chance of passing.
However, Mr Abbott has played down the chances of the private member’s bill being debated and put to a vote.