Senator Cory Bernardi

Senator Cory Bernardi earned a rebuke from Coalition colleague Ewen Jones over the former's support for ''traditional families''. Photo: Andrew Meares

Coalition MP Ewen Jones has rebuked his Coalition colleague Cory Bernardi for his hardline stance on the importance of traditional families.

In the Coalition Party room meeting on Tuesday, Senator Bernardi singled out Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews for praise for his ''defence'' of traditional family units.

Senator Bernardi, who holds strong conservative views, read out part of an opinion piece Mr Andrews had written on the topic.

He then joked that his senior colleague should be careful about airing his view – some of which Senator Bernardi had echoed in his book The Conservative Revolution – drawing considerable criticism from the Left.

But Mr Jones then stood up and told his colleagues that he had been a single parent, and had a close family friend who was gay.

The Queensland MP said what was more important was that children were loved, not what gender their parents were.

Mr Jones' comments drew a rousing round of applause from the Coalition room.

Mr Jones told Fairfax media after the meeting that: ''I've been a single parent, I know what it's like to do the washing at 3am in the morning to make sure the uniforms are ironed,'' he said.

''I think it's the quality of the role model, male or female, not the sexuality of the parents that matters.''

Responding to the party room debate, Prime Minister tony Abbott told colleagues: ''We need to be as supportive of people as possible, regardless of their circumstances.''

In his book, Senator Bernardi called for a new debate on abortion laws – describing abortion as "abhorrent form of birth control'' and railed against "non-traditional" families.

In 2012, he warned that allowing same-sex marriage would lead to demands to legalise bestiality.

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