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Australian politician thinks same-sex marriage is a distraction from crocodile attacks

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

Last week, Australian citizens voted overwhelmingly to become the 25th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. But not everyone was happy about it. In a press conference this week, Bob Katter, a member of Australia’s parliament from the area of North Queensland, declared the entire debate a distraction — from the vital issue of crocodile attacks.

“I mean, y’know, people are entitled to their sexual proclivities. Let there be a thousand blossoms bloom, as far as I’m concerned,” Katter said. “But I ain’t spendin’ any time on it, because in the meantime, every three months, a person is torn to pieces by a crocodile in North Queensland.”

I strongly recommend you watch the video of his comments, as it is perfect:

The irony is that Katter was strongly opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage in last week’s vote, yet his “crocodile” sound bite is actually a perfect encapsulation of the winning argument in favor of same-sex marriage. It doesn’t affect anyone other than LGBTQ couples, who really care about it, so why not just give them equal rights and move on to other issues?

Oh, and in case you were curious, Katter’s statistics about crocodile attacks are a bit exaggerated.

A June report from Australia’s National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre found that there were 11 identified deaths from crocodile attacks nationwide between 2005 and 2014. That’s a rate of one death every 10 months in the entire country, rather than one every three months in North Queensland alone.

Bob Katter: wrong on same-sex marriage, wrong on crocodile attacks.

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