The anti-LGBTI group Coalition for Marriage has released its first television ad campaigning for a ‘no’ vote in the upcoming marriage equality poll.

The ad doesn’t directly address marriage equality, instead taking a ‘think of the children’ approach that conflates same-sex marriage with the Safe Schools program.

The ad claims that “parents have lost their right to choose” in countries with marriage equality, and one parent claims her son was told he could wear a dress to school.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has slammed the ad as “total rubbish” and blamed Malcolm Turnbull for allowing it, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Shorten called the ad “offensive and hurtful to LGBTI Australians and their families”.

“This is exactly what was predicted when Malcolm Turnbull decided to waste $122 million on a postal survey,” he said.

“He gave the green light to this rubbish.

“This is not freedom of speech. This is freedom to hurt. I just want to tell LGBTI families that they are not on their own. Most people know this is total rubbish.”

Executive director of the Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady, called the ad “disgraceful and dishonest”.

“The people behind this ad know that the Australian people are all for allowing all Australians the right to marry, so they have resorted to misleading people, to pretend this is about something else,” he said.

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