A billboard from anti-LGBTI campaign group Binary Australia attacking Labor over supporting drag queen storytelling events has been banned by the advertising watchdog.
Binary Australia submitted the billboard as part of their election campaign, photoshopping Bill Shorten and American drag queen Tempest DuJour – whose image is available on multiple stock photo websites – into a classroom with young children.
Accompanying the image is a quote from Labor senator for Western Australia Louise Pratt stating that “drag queen story time is a wonderful idea” in response to a Perth business receiving a wave of hate mail for hosting a drag storytelling event last year.
The Outdoor Media Association told Binary, which was attempting to crowdfund the $75,000 the billboards would cost, that they could not “portray people or depict material in a way which discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual preference, religion, disability, mental illness or political belief.”
Smith said she doesn’t “think it’s acceptable that we are not allowed to discuss this key issue before an election.”
“That’s not free speech, that’s not fair,” she said.
“There are two critical issues here. First, Labor has made their position very clear — they believe that a Drag Queen should teach your kids that their gender is fluid, that they can choose if they are a boy or girl.
“Second, we are not able to even have the debate about whether or not this is a good idea during a federal election. And this a slap in the face to the parents of Australia.”
OUT in Perth reported that the image has been distributed as a flyer in some areas.
On Twitter, Smith said the billboard “simply quoted an Australian Labor politician.”
“The ad was banned for ‘vilification’. But who is doing the vilification? Must be Labor as Binary just played a straight bat! Where is free speech if we can’t discuss Labor policy?”
Smith was supported by Australian Conservatives candidate and former Australian Christian Lobby head Lyle Shelton, who falsely claimed that the billboard was “discussing Australian Labor policy to indoctrinate children using Drag Queen Story Time’s own images”, despite the image having been shoddily composed using stock photos.