Hundreds of incidents of homophobic hate speech were recorded in Australia during the marriage equality survey period.

The LGBTI Legal Service collected over 220 examples of hate speech during the survey, Gay Times has reported.

While polls over the last few years have shown most Australians support marriage equality, and recent polls predict a strong win for the Yes vote, the debate stirred up homophobic and transphobic sentiment from some.

“Unfortunately, throughout the marriage law postal survey it has been virtually impossible for anyone who identifies as queer to avoid exposure to views which condemn who they are as a person,” said Matilda Alexander, president of the LGBTI Legal Service.

“The postal survey has opened the door to homophobia and vilification being expressed under the guise of legitimate debate.

“Instead of a legitimate debate, the LGBTI community has had to put up with weeks of destructive commentary which only takes society backwards on the progress which has led to broader acceptance of LGBTI people in the last 30 years.”

As well as receiving submissions of hate speech from the community, the LGBTI Legal Service monitored news, social media and public spaces during the survey.

The homophobic and transphobic incidents ranged from bigoted social media posts to vandalism and anti-LGBTI posters put up by neo-Nazi groups.

The marriage equality survey closed on Tuesday, with results to be announced next week on November 15.

If you need support in the wake of the marriage survey, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.

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