MANY people would think the only events happening in Australia over the weekend were two sporting grand finals, but amongst the excitement of the AFL and NRL finals it was also a big weekend for marriage equality.

On Sunday The Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine told marriage equality supporters to “take our olive branch and shove it where the sun don’t shine”.

Devine argued the plebiscite was a compromise offered by social conservatives “to deal with an issue which has dogged politics for a decade.”

“There have been 18 failed attempts to push same-sex marriage through parliament since 2004. When does no mean no?” she wrote.

Devine went on to compare marriage equality advocates to ISIS – the fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group – saying “gentle Christians” have been intimidated for their support of traditional marriage.

“It is true that the marriage debate has unleashed hatred from intolerant authoritarians. But the victims are not loved-up LGBTIQ folk,” Devine wrote.

“Those courageous enough to raise a head above the parapet are brutally made examples of.

“It’s the social form of warning off perfected by ISIS when they publicly behead people or lower them in cages into swimming pools or stage any number of elaborate tortures as a lesson to others who might dare even think of being disobedient.”

Journalist Tom Clift argued that Devine’s attempt to compare marriage equality supporters to ISIS was a sign of how desperate conservatives have become on the issue and people must be careful how they react to hateful speech.

“It’s also not okay to compare people to war criminals just because of who they want to marry,” he wrote on Junkee.

“Reacting to people like Devine – as well as those who frequent the comments section below her articles – is always a tricky proposition.

“On the one hand, it’s very tempting to scream and shout abuse. Because let’s be honest: what she’s writing isn’t just offensive – it’s also legitimately harmful to the mental wellbeing of LGBTQI Australians.

“Now for the silver lining. From reading her ridiculous article, it’s pretty clear that Devine knows that she’s on the losing side. She admits that public support for the plebiscite is waning, even as she does her level best to blame that fact on a campaign of “intimidation” by “the militant arm of Marriage Equality and Labor”.

“Here’s the truth: Miranda Devine and the mean-spirited or unsympathetic people who share her views are going to lose this fight.”

Only a few hours after Devine’s article hit the stands, Australian actress Margot Robbie made her premiere hosting gig of Saturday Night Live wearing a t-shirt supporting marriage equality.

The t-shirt featured a map of Australia with the caption saying ‘Say ‘I Do’ Downunder‘ and coincided with the launch of a new campaign for marriage equality spearheaded by Kylie Minogue’s fiancé, actor Joshua Sasse, in conjunction with Australians 4 Equality (A4E).

Supporters are encouraged to get their hands on one of the t-shirts to show support for A4E.

“I was shocked to find out earlier this year that same-sex marriage in Australia is still illegal,” he said.

“There are many hurdles to jump in order to make constitutional change, but we are now the closest we’ve ever been to that change.”

Other celebrities to get behind the campaign include TV host Kelly Ripa, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears and actress Jenna Dewan Tatum.

Star Observer reached out to Australians 4 Equality for comment about the new campaign and will update the story when it’s received.

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