Anti-gay flyers recently distributed in Launceston have prompted Tasmanian gay rights advocates to lodge a complaint to the state’s Anti-Discrimination Commission.
The flyers condemned homosexuality as “unhealthy”, stating that Bible scripture and “secular media and academia” could not both be correct. It goes on to provide an apparent comparison between obituaries in American gay newspapers against those in two major newspapers.
Other claims included that lesbians were 307 times more likely to die in accidents than white women aged 25-44, while gay men were 10 times more likely to die in accidents.
It suggested just eight per cent of gay men live to old age compared to just a quarter of lesbians.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said the flyers propagated hateful myths and stereotypes that had no place in contemporary Tasmanian society.
“On the face of it they violate Tasmania’s incitement-to-hatred laws and we have referred them to the Anti-Discrimination Commission to see if legal action can be taken,” Croome said.
One of the people behind the flyers, James Durston, told Tasmania’s Examiner newspaper he was a spokesman for God and was equally offended by same-sex marriage leaflets being distributed in Tasmania.
Croome said the flyers could have a “dramatic impact” on young people coming to terms with being gay.
“If there were flyers that treated blacks or Jews in the derogatory way these flyers treat gay and lesbian people there’d be an outcry,” Croome said.
“The fact there’s still this kind of hate in parts the community shows why it’s important we remove all discrimination from our laws, especially when we’re dealing with something as important as marriage.
“Giving same-sex partners legal equality won’t rid us of homophobia, but it will mean prejudice has one less place to hide.”
Click below to read the flyers in full.