Former Woolworths boss Roger Corbett did a TV interview on same-sex marriage and ended up talking race and slavery

Roger Corbett/ ABC

The former Fairfax Media chairman Roger Corbett has explained his opposition to same-sex marriage in an interview that ended up in covering race and business campaigning against slavery.

On ABC TV’s 7.30 program last night, Corbett said while he “respects homosexuals”, marriage should be between a man and woman, and if gays want to marry then “let’s find an appropriate name for other relationships”.

“It’s not discriminatory in any way,” Corbett told host Leigh Sales.

“It’s a statement that (marriage) is between men and women. A man and a man and a woman and a woman can have a similar relationship, but it’s different.

“A black man and a white man are equal, but they’re clearly different. A black man will never be a white man and vice versa.”

Corbett, who was also previously CEO of Woolworths and served on the RBA board for a decade, said people in the community sided with him, although were “scared that they might be vilified”.

He also said it was “entirely wrong” for companies to be campaigning on marriage, but “if it was, for example, slavery, I would think that that was entirely appropriate.”

He added: “But here the community, there is a norm of marriage in our community between — being between a man and a woman. People deeply believe in that.

“In my view, it is the way we were created. It doesn’t mean … in no way (do I) think that gay people should be in any way discriminated, but it is different.

“You can’t say everyone will be white or everyone will be black. That’s not the case. A majority of the people in this community, the vast majority, are men and women who are married together in union that is called marriage.”

See a clip of Corbett’s 7.30 appearance here.

Disclosure: Fairfax Media is the owner of Business Insider Australia’s publishing company, Allure Media.

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