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HIV Prevention Ads Taken Down in Australia After Complaints from Christian Group

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An HIV-prevention ad featuring a fully-clothed gay couple embracing with a condom has been removed from bus shelters in Brisbane, Australia following complaints from the Australian Christian Lobby, the Central Telegraph reports:

ACL's State Director for Queensland is calling their campaign to have the ad removed “A massive groundswell of people power" despite only 47 complaints being made.

The advert has been released by the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities as part of their Queensland Government funded HIV prevention and sexual health promotion work with gay men.

“We are deeply disappointed by the behaviour of Adshel in removing the advertisements, without even notifying us and without proper reason” said Paul Martin, Executive Director of Healthy Communities.

A Facebook group started by Michael James, one of the men who appears in the ad, has nearly 4,000 members as of this posting. It offers information on how to contact ADSHEL, the company that caved to the Christian bigots.

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Comments

  1. You know, I want to remain hopeful about changing attitudes toward homosexuality ... but then something like this happens and I feel a sense of despair.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | May 31, 2011 11:47:52 AM


  2. Thousands of supporters vs. 47 complaints.

    The fact that these Christian bigots are horrific homophobes is one thing. But the fact a health organization will go as far as to take down ads and stop campaigns for HIV prevention because they don't want to offend Christianist homophobes is really, really sick. They are putting homophobia above the health of gay men, and really the health of all sexually-active Australians. It's a disgrace on all levels.

    Michael, what this shows me is that even though there *is* a dwindling number of homophobes in overall in modernized countries, there is still a LOT of moral panic when it comes to actually having backbone and standing up against those who use religion as a means to justify discrimination. A lot of people are scared, they don't want to be seen as immoral, or anti-God, whatever. They are too weak to do the right thing. We as a community have to lead by example.

    Posted by: Francis | May 31, 2011 11:57:52 AM


  3. The truth is that there is an element of Christianity that wants gays to die of AIDS. They view the disease as a punishment from God, so in turn they believe that trying to prevent the disease is against God's will. In their ignorance and homophobia, they are actually wishing a horrible death on fellow humans. Where is the mainstream Christian outrage over this?

    Being Gay is not a choice. Being a Christian is. Have you ever met an anti-gay Atheist?

    Posted by: Chadd | May 31, 2011 12:09:13 PM


  4. @chadd: I fully agree. However, that's the thing that's so incredibly frustrating. For instance, my parents can't deal with this, since to them being gay is a choice, and being a christian is just being right -- all other religions are flawed. I mean, it's pure ignorance and self-righteousness, and nothing can get through that.
    So yeah, I fully agree with what you said, and I know that some people will always think they are right, which renders them immune to this kind of logic.

    Posted by: topher | May 31, 2011 12:24:17 PM


  5. I'd like to know what would happen in Sydney or Melbourne if these posters (?) would go up there.
    As far as I know Brisbane (and Queensland) is considered to be somewhat of a "hillbilly sanctuary", sorry, don't know how to phrase it to sound non-judgmental.

    Posted by: Steve | May 31, 2011 12:46:31 PM


  6. It's always the Christian groups that are the most hateful.

    Posted by: FernLaPlante | May 31, 2011 1:03:15 PM


  7. Religion=DEATH

    Posted by: SFshawn | May 31, 2011 1:09:05 PM


  8. On its website, Adshel praises its philosophy and mentions "charity" as one of its lements (http://www.adshel.com.au/who/philosophy).

    But it should be noticed that it forgot to praise more elements that can be seen obviously:
    - weakness and proneness to blackmailing
    - social irresponsibility related to HIV
    - homophobia

    Adshel seems to be testing a new strategy in self-distruction of its own image.

    Posted by: Roman Bolliger | May 31, 2011 2:16:01 PM


  9. Francis: it wasn't the health organisation that took down the ads, it was the company that owns the advertising space.

    Posted by: Kevin | May 31, 2011 2:39:04 PM


  10. These ads are also appearing on massive billboards across the city, but are being managed by a different company - GOA. GOA have refused to remove the ads based on the complaints.

    Posted by: Benji | May 31, 2011 7:29:36 PM


  11. Would it hurt to let religious bigots rot in their own spew for once, instead of rushing to appease their every wicked whim?

    Posted by: Max | May 31, 2011 9:52:40 PM


  12. @Chadd: yes, I agree, there is an undercurrent,ever present but unspoken, that it would be good for society if we were all wiped out.
    What you call "main stream Christians" are silent in the face of bigotry and homophobia; and the evangelicals are only interested in using the bible as a weapon to beat the rest of us.

    @sfshawn; absolutely correct, religion=poison; it is anti rational and has delayed the progress of civilization for centuries with its superstituous anti-intellectual crap.
    Hope there is a campaign to destroy the christians in Brisbane.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 1, 2011 3:12:02 AM


  13. Adshell has reinstated the ads :)
    saddens me that these bigots hide behind the ruse of Christianity when they are nothing but hateful pissants :(

    Posted by: LeeLee | Jun 1, 2011 4:30:41 AM


  14. If christians are able to complain about advertisements for the health of gay men and manage to get them pulled down, then by that logic gay men should have the same right to pull every christian advertisement down as essentially they are promoting a religion that condemns gay people to death. Despite being put back up, the fact that it was taken down in the first place is disgusting.

    Posted by: kate | Jun 16, 2011 8:19:38 PM


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