With the dust of last weekend’s federal election almost settled and results soon to be finalised, many in the community are questioning the impact that highly evocative and fervently anti-gay advertising had on the national poll, and Queensland in particular.
Whilst all states were subjected to a varying degree of anti-gay and anti-marriage equality political ads from groups not officially affiliated with the major parties, Queensland appears to have had more than its share, with voters in the northern state electorates of Lilley, Petrie, Brisbane, Herbert and Moreton were all subjected to highly evocative pamphlets and even newspaper advertising that has been described as “harmful,” “fear mongering” and “hurtful”.
People in the seat of Moreton were the recipients of a controversial flyer prominently featuring an image of a highly distressed child crying out “I want my mum and dad”.
After stating that the Rudd government wanted to enact same-sex marriage by December 2013, the flyer continued to read: “Loving kids and respecting their rights means keeping marriage law that puts kids’ needs first”.
“When ‘gay and lesbian marriage’ is taught in kindy and school, children will be led to believe that: kids have no right to both mum and dad, parents who disagree are bigots.”
National spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) labelled the anti-gay advertising as ‘hurtful’.
“The flyers suggest that it is bad for children to be raised by same-sex couples, which I believe breaches anti-discrimination law,” Argent said.
“Same-sex couples and their families deserve the same support and respect as other couples, not this kind of denigration.”
Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome accused distributors of the pamphlets and ads of stirring up hate.
““These flyers use objectionable images of children and false information from the US to stir up fear and hate against marriage equality and those Liberal, Labor and Independent candidates who support it,” Croome said.
“The flyers will have a particularly harmful impact on young gay people coming to terms with their sexuality and on the children being raised by same-sex couples.”
Whilst those responsible for the homophobic campaigns appear to be unaffiliated with the major parties, the address featured on the flyer distributed in the seat of Moreton is that of the offices of the National Civic Council Queensland, a group associated with the Australian Family Association who is responsible for ‘National Marriage Day’.
PFLAG said that they will be seeking legal advice about the Moreton flyer.