Timber Communities Australia will today deliver a written apology to two Tasmanian rights activists for an election advertisement claiming same-sex marriage and recognising intersex people is dangerous.
The apology is the result of an anti-discrimination case mounted by Martine Delaney and Peter Power against the TCA for advertisements produced during the 2007 federal election.
The apology will be made in Hobart this morning where TCA Tasmanian state manager Barry Chipman will hand over a letter apologising for underhanded campaign tactics.
The series of advertisements included a a television advertisement showing poison symbols and danger signs when describing the Greens policy on same-sex marriage.
Activist Peter Power said the apology was a positive outcome.
“We took these complaints because of our concerns about marginalised groups being used as cannon fodder in political battles.
It’s great that TCA has admitted it made a serious mistake, apologised and gone a big step further by helping to address the underlying issues of community awareness,” Power said.
The TCA now admits the advertisement “inadvertently” caused hurt and offence to same-sex attracted and intersex people. The organisation ruled out similar campaigns in the future.
“TCA’s aim in airing the advertisement was purely political, with no intention of harming or offending any groups in Tasmanian society. When we became aware the ad was offensive to these groups, it was immediately withdrawn from broadcast,” Chipman said.
The TCA said they will also distribute brochures to inform the broader community about intersex people.
“We regret the harm caused, assure you TCA will not be engaging in similar campaigns in future, and are pleased to be taking steps to address the lack of community knowledge which allowed intersex issues to be targeted in the advertisement,” Chipman said.
The apology follows recent apologies from the Exclusive Brethren and the Liberal Party for using similar tactics during the 2006 Tasmanian state election.
Martine Delaney said she hopes the apology will make others think twice in future election campaigns.