whatruhavingThe Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) has dismissed complaints over a recent Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) advertisement that claimed children were being “sexualised”.

The ‘WhatRUHaving’ campaign, which was launched last month across billboards in Brisbane,
features a expectant woman holding her pregnant stomach alongside text that reads ‘Congratulations, you’re having a lesbian’.

PFLAG spokesperson Shelley Argent said that the original purpose of the campaign was to explain how children could be born with any sexuality, and how marriage equality was therefore
an issue for every family.

Complaints received by the ASB included a claim that the ad was illegal as “it involves the sexualisation of children”.

Another complained that the billboard could influence pregnant woman to consider abortion.

“If science can prove one is having a lesbian/homosexual should one abort?” a complaint said.

“If a child saw this advertisement and asks about it, what does one tell a child?”

Argent dismissed the complaints as the “opinion of the extreme”.

“Our intended message – that any child, regardless of sexual orientation, should be welcomed into a family – was clearly lost by those who objected,” Argent said.

“As the mother of a gay son, I can tell you that not making a child feel welcome because of their sexual orientation is the real child abuse.”

PFLAG told the ASB that the woman in the ad was “modestly clothed and sensitively portrayed”.

“We feel that our message is justified for its educational value, to bring awareness to the public about homosexuality,” PFLAG said.

“Wouldn’t it be great if one day parents were able to accept and celebrate the sexual orientation of their child from the day they were born?”

Billboard company GOA, which donated up to $60,000 worth of space for the campaign, also reported receiving complaints that Managing Director Chris Tyquin labelled “extreme or irrational”.

“We supported the PFLAG campaign because we felt it was making a reasonable argument for marriage equality. The people who complained about the ad, however, were far from reasonable in their objections,” Tyquin said.

One complaint accused GOA of supporting “a lying, deceitful campaign by the radical homosexual lobby” and following it up with a claim that “homosexuality can be cured”.

There has been a recent push towards regulating and forcing a ‘G’ rating for all outdoor advertising. Spearheaded by the Australian Christian Lobby, the push has been favourably received by Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and is under consideration by the government.

You can watch the video below and visit the campaign website here.

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