As the marriage debate continues and anti-LGBTI violence appears to increase, marriage equality advocates are urging the community to stay positive.
Tiernan Brady from the Equality Campaign said the no campaign has been trying to bait the community into fighting, by equating same-sex marriage with everything from incest to polygamy.
“LGBTI people haven’t taken the bait. Negative gives us nothing.
“The no side’s job has been to try and mislead the public, because they know the Australian public are for us. It’s been a red herring a day, and our job has been to never run down those rabbit holes, because that’s where the no side want us.
“They aim to provoke us, so that change suddenly looks scary. What’s really amazing, and LGBTI people should feel so good about this, is LGBTI people haven’t taken the bait.”
Brady said the yes campaign must remain focused on delivering a positive message without buying into the no campaign’s tactics.
“The most important thing that we have to do is remember the strategy that has got us to this point,” he said.
“We have always been about respectful conversations, and continue to be determined that it’s not about angry debates. That strategy will not change.
“We will not, under any circumstances, be tempted to go negative, because that’s not the journey to equality that LGBTI people need. We all have to share the country the next day.”
Brady raised concerns about people living in regional areas and the impact the debate could be having on their wellbeing.
“It’s all fine for us living in inner-city Melbourne or Sydney, but if you’re a young gay person in Broken Hill or Shepparton, the impact of the tone that the national campaign has set is far more important,” he said.
He said the yes vote is on course to win, but cautioned that there is no room for complacency.
“We know that marriage equality is a fabulous idea. We know that marriage equality will unite the country, and it will include for the first time a group of people who have not been included before, and that is good for everybody,” Brady said.
“[Positivity] has always been our strategy, and it will continue to be.”