Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has urged people to hug their LGBT friends after a poster emerged featuring the slogan “Stop the Fags”.
The poster depicting a child cowering below two men holding rainbow-colored belts cites widely discredited research linking same-sex relationships to higher levels of abuse. The poster states that “92% of children raised by Gay Parents are abused,” “51% have depression” and “72% are obese.”
Turnbull, who will vote “yes” in an upcoming non-binding national survey on same-sex marriage, said:
“Don’t be distracted by a handful of extreme and unpleasant posters or flyers.
“Focus on the substance of the debate and if you give the people who are saying vote ‘no’…respect for their conservative view of marriage then they will give respect to your view.”
Labor party deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said that a “prime minister who promised this would be a civilised debate” should fully condemn the anti-same-sex marriage posters and pamphlets, some of which are being circulated by neo-Nazis, reports ABC.
However, Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi attempted to normalize such campaign material, arguing that people involved in the ‘yes’ campaign had been “militant and intolerant” of those who favour a ‘no’ vote, reports 9News. “Today we saw a union saying we are not going to deliver mail – this is bullying writ large,” he told Sky News, adding that the “very recent whim” of same-sex marriage would undermine “the tenets that underpin western civilization”.
Watch a Euronews report on the upcoming postal vote below.