Beer and Bibles: brewery cops same-sex marriage backlash

Coopers has been copping a bit of flack over a video produced with the Bible Society in which two MPs debate same-sex marriage.

Yup - you read that right. Beer, the Bible and a couple of blokes.

Wait a minute - what?

To mark its 200th birthday, the Bible Society Australia paired up with Coopers brewery to create a social media strategy aimed at reaching "more Australians with God's word".

The brewery created a special batch of light beer which features the society's logo, and has Bible verses on the cases. Just in case you want a bit of spiritual guidance with your coldie.

In an even more unusual move, the society has started a series called Keeping it Light, where they "host some light conversations on the heaviest topics".

The first is a video where two Liberal Party MPs discuss the issue of same-sex marriage.

Gay Victorian MP Tim Wilson and conservative Christian MP Andrew Hastie talk it through in a six minute video that's filmed in a cafe in Parliament House.

The video features several lingering shots of the beer bottles, and at the end, both parties toast to the Bible Society and congratulate it on its bicentennial.

You can gauge the level of awkwardness for yourself.

Well, Coopers has received a bit of social media backlash on this, especially from members of the gay and lesbian community who say the company is pushing a political message.

"Do you oppose equality," one person asked the brewery in a tweet.

Another said: "I've been a Coopers drinker for years, blissfully unaware of their political longer."

"Stick to brewing," a third person advised.

The company released a statement on Sunday saying society needed to be able to have a mature debate, and it wasn't trying to change anyone's mind.

Coopers isn't trying to push religious messages or change your beliefs by celebrating 200 years of charitable work undertaken by the Bible Society."

"In fact, over the years we have produced a number of different celebratory cans to recognise the historical achievements of a vast array of different organisations," it said.

Liberal Party divided on same-sex marriage

The Liberal Party has been divided about where to next on same-sex marriage, after the Senate shot down prospects of holding a plebiscite on the matter.

Some MPs - including Tim Wilson - want the Parliament to hold a free vote on it, meaning individual MPs and Senators could vote according to their conscience, rather than vote according to the party line.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull - who supports changing the laws so same-sex couples can wed - has remained cold on the idea.