A petition started by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) could lead to all outdoor advertising in Queensland being forced to become G-rated, if new regulations foreshadowed by the state’s attorney-general are passed through Parliament.
A letter tabled in Parliament on April 3 by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie stated that he had become aware of concerns expressed by the community about outdoor advertising and caused him to question “the appropriateness of the current model” of quality control.
Bleijie was responding to a petition started by the Queensland head of the ACL, Wendy Francis, who is well-known to the LGBTI community for her views on homosexuality. Recently, Francis has been a central figure in a number of high-profile cases regarding G-rated regulation of outdoor advertising, most notably the 2011 ‘Rip & Roll’ posters from the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities.
Francis’ latest petition from November 2012 attracted almost 1400 signatures, and prompted a response and message of support by Bleijie.
“I agree with the petitioners that children and young people in our community should be entitled to live in a caring and nurturing environment, protected from harm and exploitation,” Bleijie wrote.
“[The Queensland government] is considering the current regulatory model and whether legislative reform in this area is necessary.”
One of the models from the infamous ‘Rip & Roll’ poster featuring two men embracing, Michael James, said that he understood that Francis was working “to protect children” but her anti-homosexuality agenda clouds her judgement about some advertising.
“I think if she were to take a more calm and rational approach as to what she wants banned from outdoor advertising then perhaps she may find a more compassionate audience, but while she still approaches this through an agenda and idealism set by the ACL she is going to be viewed as an extremist trying to get advertisements removed that she purely finds morally offensive,” James told the Star Observer.
“When it came to Rip & Roll, the grassroots campaign which she led had nothing to do with sex and condoms, the people who followed her and rallied in her name did so because of the blatant homosexuality displayed in the images, which is clearly evident in the complaints released to the public.
“This kind of offensive, homophobic, religious agenda does not belong in a position that is influencing the laws in this state or country.”