One argument against a plebiscite, or public vote, on marriage equality in Australia is that it would lead to an ugly campaign of homophobia by opponents. Sadly, it appears that prediction has come to pass.
Posters and leaflets attacking the LGBT community have already started circulating: In Sydney, residents found an offensive note in their mailboxes this weekend, written in both English and Chinese
“Homosexuality is a tragedy of a family, a grave to the family bloodline, a curse of family sonlessness,” read a poorly written flyer distributed in Sydney’s Hurstville neighborhood.
Some of the marriage equality "respectful debate" in the letterboxes of Hurstville this morning.
Content warning on this, LGBT friends x pic.twitter.com/qYhL11vMRG
— Sally Rugg ️ (@sallyrugg) August 19, 2017
The note went on to warn that the freedom to marry will lead to rapists posing as “transexual women” preying on females in the ladies room.
“The number of victims being raped in public female changing rooms and bathrooms in those countries that has passed the same-sex marriage legislation is a stunning fact to all!”
In Melbourne, a poster surfaced showing men gripping rainbow belts over a scared child, with the tagline “Stop the fags.”
The sign goes on to claim that 92% of children raised by gay parents are abused. (It also claims, oddly, that three-quarters of children of gay parents are obese.”
Another “Stop the Fags” poster claimed gays and lesbians were “40% of child predators”
— Mark (@bundybear2913) August 21, 2017
Labor Senator Jenny Mcallister, who is chairing an inquiry into the survey, encouraged anyone finding offensive flyers to contact her. “It’s very important that parliament has comprehensive picture of how this marriage-equality survey impacts the LGBTQI community, she tweeted.
— Senator Mcallister (@jennymcallister) August 19, 2017
Opposition leader Bill Shorten said he was “sorry” LGBT Australians had to face such bigotry. “Let’s make sure there’s an overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote in response.”
I’m sorry that LGBTI Australians have to put up with this.
Let’s make sure there’s an overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote in response. https://t.co/bDLSyJXGlO
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) August 21, 2017
To vote in the plebiscite, residents must enroll by August 24. Survey forms will then be mailed out September 12 and must be completed and sent back by November 7.
Below, Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe and his boyfriend encourage Australians to register for the survey.