Australia is currently engaged in a two-month, non-binding, postal referendum on marriage equality. Predictably, the anti-LGBTQ side has turned ugly.
In the suburbs of Sydney, a flyer was distributed that showed a child hiding their face. Two adult arms hold rainbow belts, apparently intended to hit the kid. “STOP THE FAGS” is written in giant letters on the image, along with the statement, “92% of children raised by Gay Parents are abused. 51% have depression. 72% are obese.”
Spotted in Melbourne – Heffernan Lane. How is this for a unity moment? @TurnbullMalcolm @cityofmelbourne @AdamBandt @VicGovAu @abcnews pic.twitter.com/syL7vqRJLK
— Dan Leach-McGill (@DanLMcG) August 19, 2017
The flyer cites a paper written by Paul Sullins, which was a “study” of 20 children who might not have been raised by LGBTQ parents, published in a non-peer reviewed, pay-to-play journal.
Another poster was found in Brisbane. It used a stock image of a straight, white couple with a child and another image of a gay couple with a kid, and one of the gay dads is kissing the kid. The text says, “THIS IS A FAMILY. THIS IS NOT. A VOTE FOR GAY MARRIAGE IS A VOTE FOR CHILD ABUSE.”
Back in Sydney, a leaflet was distributed that says that the real purpose of marriage equality is forcing kids to transition and called marriage equality advocates “cutting-off genitals terrorists.”
“Horrible! Sex reassignment surgery will go into Australian campus!” the flyer says. “The true intention of the homosexual organization is not simply for a marriage certificate, but it intending to be protected by law to permeate into school, to pursue their wild ambitions to transform teenager’s gene and cut off human’s generation, to transform our next generation to sex-changed race like them, to replace the traditional one man and one woman marriage with two men or two women abnormal same-sex marriage.”
Anon anti same-sex marriage note dropped in letterbox in the shire. No attribution. Hateful & false. "Cutting-off genitals terrorists" pic.twitter.com/tPWR0xMcFT
— Jayne Azzopardi (@JayneAzzo) September 12, 2017
Before the referendum, politicians and pundits were saying that the campaigns would be civil, responding to fear from advocates that a homophobic campaign could harm LGBTQ people.
Of course, that’s impossible, since support for marriage equality is just a proxy for tolerance of LGBTQ people. There are no logical arguments against it, so opponents hope to make homophobia itself appear more acceptable.