Channel refuses to air anti-gay ad during Sydney Mardi Gras


australian_ad_attacks_same_sex_marriage_to_protect_kidsAnti-gay marriage bigots are furious after an Australian channel refused to air their homophobic television commercial during a broadcast of Saturday’s Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

The 42-second video from the Australian Marriage Forum (AMF) is presented as a public service announcement and starts with a woman asking: “We hear a lot about marriage equality, but what about equality for kids?”

The “Think of the Child” ad also includes Doctor David van Gend, the president of the organisation, who is captioned only as a “family doctor”.

He says: “So-called marriage equality forces a child to miss out on a mother or a father. That’s not equality for the kids who miss out. That’s not marriage.”

While the ad was shown on Channel 7 and 9 on Saturday, SBS decided at the last minute not to air it on Sunday.

The broadcaster said in an e-mail to van Gend: “Our review board has instructed that SBS has the right to choose what ads we run, and I’ve unfortunately been instructed to advise you that we choose not to run this TVC (TV commercial) for the Marriage Forum during the Mardi Gras telecast.”

Van Gend is livid with SBS and told The Sydney Morning Herald that the ad’s rejection was the “suppression of free speech”.

He insisted that, “It is outrageous for a taxpayer funded broadcaster like SBS to apply censorship to one side of the debate on same-sex marriage.”

Australian Marriage Equality National Director Rodney Croome commented in a statement that the ad’s aim was “obvious prejudice and fearmongering.”

He said that while it could actually “increase support for marriage equality” it would also harm “the many Australian children being raised by same-sex couples because it defends discrimination against their families.”

The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby pointed out that marriage equality and same-sex couples raising children are two different issues.

“Same-sex couples already can and do have children – marriage equality is not going to change that. If the people behind this video were really thinking of the children, they would support marriage equality so that all kids, including those with same-sex parents, could say their parents are married,” said the group.

Almost 12,000 people have already signed a petition to have the advert removed for good.

While Australia is seen as a gay-friendly nation, gay and lesbian couples continue to be denied the right to marriage. Marriage equality is supported by the majority of the public, with 72% in favour of legalising gay marriage in Australia.

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