Gay mar­riage TV ad ‘hurt­ful’


Shepparton News - - NEWS - By Bar­clay White

The head of Shepparton’s LGBTI sup­port group has slammed a TV ad­ver­tise­ment ad­vo­cat­ing a ‘no’ vote in the same-sex mar­riage postal sur­vey has been slammed as ‘‘hurt­ful’’ and ‘‘dis­hon­est’’.

The ad­ver­tise­ments that were pro­duced for the Coali­tion for Mar­riage cam­paign fea­tures par­ents con­cerned about how same-sex mar­riage may im­pact their chil­dren.

Goul­burn Val­ley Pride pres­i­dent Ge­orgina Poort said she was quite shocked when she first saw the ad­ver­tise­ments, which pre­miered on Aus­tralian TV on Tues­day night.

‘‘I found it quite hurt­ful,’’ Ms Poort said.

‘‘I felt like they were aim­ing it at chil­dren, and it’s not about chil­dren, it’s never go­ing to be about chil­dren.’’

The 30-sec­ond TV spot fea­tures four moth­ers talk­ing about con­cerns they have for their chil­dren if Aus­tralia changes laws on mar­riage that cur­rently re­stricts same-sex cou­ples from mar­ry­ing.

The ad claims that chil­dren are be­ing forced to role­play same-sex re­la­tion­ships at school, and that if same-sex mar­riage plan suc­ceeds, par­ents will lose their rights.

‘‘To be hon­est, it feels like they were aim­ing it at Safe Schools, which has had a lot of me­dia at­ten­tion as of late,’’ Ms Poort said.

The Safe Schools pro­gram is an ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tive aimed at in­creas­ing the safety of LGBTI stu­dents at school and de­creas­ing bul­ly­ing.

The pro­gram has come un­der fire by many con­ser­va­tive politi­cians in­clud­ing for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott and South Aus­tralian sen­a­tor Cory Bernardi over ac­cu­sa­tions it in­tro­duces chil­dren to in­ap­pro­pri­ate ma­te­rial.

In a state­ment, Coali­tion for Mar­riage spokeswoman So­phie York said mil­lions of Aus­tralians were con­cerned about what could hap­pen if the Mar­riage Act changed.

“In Canada and the United King­dom, rad­i­cal LGBTIQ sex and gen­der ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams start to be­come manda­tory, even for pri­mary schools, once the law changes,’’ the state­ment said.

Ms Poort feared the cam­paign would be harm­ful to vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of the LGBTI com­mu­nity.

‘‘I think we have to rise above it and not pay at­ten­tion to these sort of things,’’ she said.

The Aus­tralian Mar­riage Law postal sur­vey is planned to be be­tween Septem­ber 12 and Novem­ber 7.

It’s not fair: Ge­orgina Poort says she is shocked by a TV ad.

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