THE brother of Bendigo-based Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie says her appearance at a nightclub party celebrating same-sex marriage legislation in the US was “confusing”.
A photographer working at St Kilda’s GH Hotel spotted Ms McKenzie at the Pride Night party on Saturday night and captured her on the dance floor.
She was at the party with Liberal Party senators Sean Edwards and Dean Smith, who has publicly supported same-sex marriage.
The venue was also believed to have later produced a pinata of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Her brother Alastair McKenzie, who is in a same-sex relationship, wrote a letter to the Bendigo Advertiser earlier this month questioning her same-sex marriage stance.
He said it was an error of judgement for his sister to attend the gay pride event at that time.
“The timing was all very confusing, people have found it extraordinary in light of what happened for same-sex marriage over the weekend,” he said.
“It has been quite sensationalised, but if you’re out in the public eye then you’re going to come under extra scrutiny.”
In a statement last month, Ms McKenzie reaffirmed her opposition to same-sex marriage in Australia, describing it as a “sacred commitment between a man and a woman”.
Mr McKenzie said she would have known the type of venue GH was and understood the significance of the evening.
“We have hit the dance floor at numerous gay clubs and have been to the Greyhound before too,” he said.
“It’s one of her locals.”
Mr McKenzie said his sister’s appearance at the hotel “confuses the issue”.
“It helps to illustrate my confusion over her stance on same-sex marriage,” he said.
“That’s the problem when someone just says they believe that marriage should just be between a man and a woman, and that’s it, without offering any alternatives or elaborating.”
A spokesperson for Ms McKenzie said the group went to the venue after an earlier recommendation.
“Senator McKenzie attended the GH Hotel in St Kilda on Saturday night with friends following a recommendation from staff at a local restaurant,” the spokesperson said.
“Senator McKenzie was not present during any activities which sought to denigrate the Prime Minister.
“Senator McKenzie's position on same sex marriage has not changed.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.