A pamphlet, which seems to be aimed at swaying people’s views on same-sex marriage in Australia, just in case it ever comes down to a public vote, has been leaked. The pamphlet shows some horrible and hate filled arguments, which are not only nonsense but are also pure fear mongering.
The pamphlet, which is named “You Have a Choice” was given the green light by former Liberal Party MP Chris Miles and makes various outrageous claims, including the one that marriage equality will result in the children of same-sex parents experiencing “unemployment, sexual victimization, sexually transmitted disease [and] drug use/abuse.”
Not satsified with that claim, it then says that the “emotional and mental health outcomes” of same-sex couples being able to marry will be “anxiety in family [sic], depression” and “suicidal thoughts.”
Also, there will apparently be an increase in “the number of girls becoming mothers without having a mother’ and ‘the number of boys becoming fathers without having a father.”
The claims go on and on, none of them with a shred of evidence linking them to reality. The next claim they make is that marriage between a man and a woman is “biologically, psychologically, emotionally and physically different from ‘same-sex’ unions.”
Then comes the rub of the pamphlet, where they encourage people to express their homophobia in the “privacy of the ballot box” where apparently they can be safe from “intimidation … threats … bullying” and “demonizing” from us villainous folks who support marriage equality. (Pot, meet kettle.)
What makes this pamphlet quite concerning, is that opponents of same-sex marriage in Australia have been pushing for the suspension of anti-hate speech and vilification laws for the duration of any campaign leading up to a vote, meaning that this could just be a snippet of what they have planned.
National Director of Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome spoke on the pamphlet, saying: “Australia can avoid a damaging plebiscite campaign, and we could have marriage equality by mid year, if parliament is simply allowed to do its job and has a free vote.”
“Not only is the information on this flyer wrong, it will put the lives of young gay people and the children of same-sex couples at risk by reinforcing the message that they and their families are broken. In contrast to the negative tone of this material, we will continue to run a positive campaign about the importance of marriage equality and the equal dignity of all loving relationships and families.”
Dr Liz Short from the Australian Psychological Society has also condemned the leaflet: “This leaflet is factually incorrect and deeply damaging. The APS’s review of research in this area shows the children of same-sex couples are likely to be at least as well adjusted, socially, emotionally, and academically, as other children.”
“It also shows their mental health is vulnerable to exactly the kind of prejudice and hostility to be found in this leaflet. The APS opposes a plebiscite on marriage equality and prefers a vote in parliament because we fear there will be much more of this damaging misinformation.”
An Anglican minister, Reverend Dr Peter Catt, also spoke out in criticism of the material.
“This kind of material is very divisive for faith communities. There are views on both sides of the conversation and neither side should be claiming to speak on behalf of all of us.”
“A plebiscite is totally unnecessary and this leaflet is just a sign of what is coming, in particular in terms of the damage that could be done to young people. It’s one thing for politicians to use electioneering to sledge one another but it’s a very different thing to use that same mechanism to hurt vulnerable people in the community.”