Senator Bernardi received a standing ovation at the national launch of the No campaign on the marriage law postal survey.
In Sydney on Saturday night, the Australian Conservatives founder warned the audience of “weaponised” anti-discrimination laws and “legal warfare” against supporters of traditional marriage if the Marriage Act is changed to include same-sex couples.
Free speech was under attack from those seeking to redefine marriage, and their mission would have predictable consequences, he added.
“We’re under assault because we’re on the right side of legal and moral history,” he said.
Senator Bernardi said the bill introduced to parliament to prevent hate speech during the campaigns was a cobbled together erosion of free speech, 18C on steroids, and a sign of things to come.
“If the state redefines marriage it also redefines how you can speak, think, advocate and believe about marriage. How did we get to that circumstance?”