During the push towards a plebiscite, and subsequent postal vote, on the issue of marriage equality, one of the hooks that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hung his hat on was his assertion that the Australian public would be able to have a “civil and reasonable debate” on the issue; this was the statement used to diminish or downplay the very real concerns from the LGBTQI+ community that any such public campaign and vote would open the door to extreme and harmful homophobia to be aired in public.
Fair to say, then, that in no version or definition of the phrase would this ever be considered civil or reasonable.
A string of profoundly offensive, harmful, savagely homophobic, and overall fucked posters have begun appearing on Australian streets as the nastiest, darkest corners of the No campaign have the unwarranted light this postal vote is affording them shone directly on them.
In Melbourne over the weekend, an extremely hateful poster was spotted in the centre of the city in Heffernan Lane, spouting statistics and claims that are – not to put too fine a point on it – batshit insane and totally false.
— Dan Leach-McGill (@DrDanLMcG) August 19, 2017
Oh good. Great. “Civil” and “reasonable” debate. Awesome.
The statistics shown on the poster have no basis in any fact whatsoever, and come from a notoriously homophobic Catholic University Reverend who has zero background in any social sciences or research.
Though it’s been said a million times already, it bares repeating now: actual scientific studies conducted by non-insane people have concluded that children raised in LGBTQI+ households have equal, if not better, outcomes than those raised in quote “traditional” families.
Additionally, these virulently anti-marriage equality posters were spotted up in public in and around Brisbane over the course of the weekend.
Some marriage equality “respectful debate” posters up around Brisbane over the weekend. Love and duty? 😷
— Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) August 21, 2017
Folks on Twitter quickly ascertained that the organisation responsible for the posters, “Australian Traditional Nationalist” is a blatant and openly white supremacist organisation.
So it looks like the “No” campaign has the backing of actual nazis. pic.twitter.com/FZAGexrvgE
— gerry (@geraldmellor) August 21, 2017
So this “civil and reasonable” debate has thus far given extreme homophobes with made-up shock stats and literal fucking Nazis the gumption to rise into public discourse.
Awesome. Great. Your deadshit idea is working gangbusters, Malcolm.
If you haven’t enrolled or updated your voter details with the AEC yet, you’ve got until the 24th (i.e. Thursday) to do so. Hit this link up ASAP.