The vote for same-sex marriage in Australia has turned ugly. From horrific "Stop the Fags" posters plastered around Melbourne alongside figures from a disproven study, to Pauline Hanson claiming that the use of "mum" and "dad" will be eradicated if the vote goes in favor of marriage equality. The "No" camp are using every trick in the book to scare Australians into a vote against our families. Here are the top three ugly tactics used by Australia's marriage equality foes.
#1. Fabricated "Facts"
The homophobic posters that have been delivered to mailboxes or stamped across cities have not only been incredibly offensive but also incorrect and misleading. From "Stop the Fags" to a poorly written anti same-sex flyer translated in both English and Chinese, it seems the "No" camp is stooping to new lows with "alternative facts."
One of the untruths on the flyer said that a "Yes" vote would allow rapists to pose as trans women and enter female toilets.
Another poster sending shock waves across Australia is one attributed to a Neo-Nazi group called Antipodean Resistance. The poster claims "gay marriage enables paedolphilia" and "gay couples are thirty times more likely to molest children."
More #respectfuldebate pedalling vicious libel against my community. Every word is a lie (note subtle HIV reference). (URL pixelated) pic.twitter.com/rBrAoq2xPO
— Paul Kidd ️ (@paulkidd) August 28, 2017
As stated in News.com.au, "this appalling poster is a classic of the genre that attempts to link two entirely separate concepts … According to the American Psychological Association and multiples studies children are no more likely to be molested by LGBTI parents, than by male-female parents."
#2. Using Images of Gay Families Without Permission
Recently, gay dad Roby Chavez was horrified to learn his family's photo was being used as the cover image for the "No" campaigns Facebook page. Roby immediately reached out to the campaign to demand the image be taken down, and to "keep my kids out of your politics."
The "No" campaign claimed to think the loving family portrait of Roby and his family was royalty free, and took the image down soon after, with a bizarre note saying "we are Christian, and can assure you this was a mistake." Soon after, however, a new image of two gay men and their child was uploaded to the campaign's Facebook page. Whether this one truly is "royalty free," or stolen from another unsuspecting family, however, is anyone's guess.
#3. Politicians and the Debunked "Think of the Children!" Argument
Pauline Hanson isn't the only Australian politician making false claims of same-sex marriage destroying "traditional" marriage. Former P.M. Tony Abbott has weighed in and said his opposition to marriage equality is not about religion but the preservation of family.
On a recent podcast, Abbott took aim at his sister who is currently raising six children with her lesbian partner.
'My position on this is not driven by religion, it's driven by the fact that marriage is what produces families, families are what produces communities and societies and nations,' he stated. 'I want to strengthen the family, I want to support the traditional families because it's better for kids, if possible, to have a mother and a father.'
Abbott then mentioned his sister as an example, and although saying that she and her partner were very good mothers, he followed by saying the "best male and female role models in our lives are our mother and father."
Another former P.M. of Australia, John Howard, has shared his opinion and said that he'll be voting "No" on marriage equality.
"The clear evidence is that you have outcomes that are superior for children in the longer term if they have a mother and father," said Howard.
And here we find ourselves again, citing numerous studies to the contrary.
One Dad's Angry Rant About Marriage Equality … That We Can Get Behind!
And now for a palette cleanser, because, of course, it's not all bad in the Aussie vote for equality. We're finding plenty of support for same-sex marriage, sometimes in the oddest of places. For instance, Mark Oval, a former Aussie Rules player, nicknamed "Angry Dad" due to his many (recorded) explosive tirades, has added his voice to the argument.
"Don't fucking start me on that shit," Orval yells. "They're spending $122 fucking million on that—to have us fucking vote as to whether they should allow gay marriage. Whose business is it of the fucking politicians to say who we can fucking marry and can't marry?"Although it may seem as though "Angry Dad" is pro-LGBT rights, his real indignation is towards the Australian parliament, who are spending $122 million on a vote where the outcome could ultimately overlooked by parliament, only to have them make up their own minds on the matter. We'll let "Angry Dad" explain.
"Even then if the public come back and say mind your own business,' as we should, they don't have to pass it," he explains. "People might say 'yes, approve it' [but]… they can just park it and say: 'Now we know how you fucking think, but we're not going to actually listen to you,' like they do with every other fucking policy."
It's "Angry Dad's" kids, Dylan and Mitchell, who are usually the culprits behind his tirades, stirring their father to encourage the passionate outbursts. And their feet are firmly planted in the "Yes" camp.