Leaked pamphlet forewarns ugly campaign ahead for marriage equality plebiscite
Former Howard government MP Chris Miles has authorised the print paraphenalia for an anti- marriage equality campaign which features pamphlets suggesting children of same-sex couples are neglected and abused
The leaked pamphlets, which have been authorised by the man who was once parliamentary secretary to John Howard, show a taste of what is to come should the issue of same-sex marriage be brought to a national vote.
Marriage equality campaigners have long been suggesting a pelebsicte on the issue would be divisive and hurt an already vulnerable group of Australians.
The pamphlets, which were uncovered by Fairfax Media seem to indicate the advocates were justified in their warnings.
The pamphlets suggest same-sex marriage will have a devastating affect on children.
"Married biological parents have a better record for providing safety and development of healthy, well-adjusted adult children.They minimise abuse and neglect of children,” the pamphlet reads.
The pamphlets use a report by the US Department of Health and Human Service as a source for the outrageous claims
Asked if people may find the claims in the pamphlet hurtful, Miles told Fairfax Media: "Lots of things are hurtful to people in Australia. Everyone hurts on a whole range of views."
Miles is intending to distribute the pamphlets nationwide.
Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome suggested the pamphlets were just a forerunner of what the LGBTI community should be prepared for if the issue of same-sex marriage is put to a popular vote.
"This is just the start of the anti-gay misinformation campaign millions of Australians will have to endure if the government spends $160 million on a marriage equality plebiscite,
"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, Australian Psychological Society decried the pamphlets's misinformation.
"This leaflet is factually incorrect and deeply damaging. A review of research in this area that was undertaken by the APS shows the children of same-sex couples are likely to be at least as well adjusted, socially, emotionally, and academically, as other children," Stott said.
Stoot said the APS opposed a pelbiscite due to teh very real dangers it posed on the mental health of the LGBTI people and rainbow families
"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," Stott said.
The Australian Greens have suggested the homophobic pamphlet shows the lengths opponents of marriage equality will go to should a plebiscite take place and warned LGBTIQ people should be prepared for a litany of ugly comments should there be a national vote
“During the last week we have seen a tsunami of vile homophobia fanned by people like Cory Bernardi and George Christensen. This flyer is the latest example of this ugly campaign against equality,” Greens marriage equality and sexuality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.
“It’s clear conservative extremists are planning an ugly hate campaign levelled at the LGBTI community and the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is sitting back and letting it happen. The Greens are concerned for the impact this kind of hurtful campaign might have on young people in particular.
“Malcolm Turnbull should rein in his backbench, condemn homophobic statements and abandon this costly and divisive plebiscite,” Simms conclude.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also voiced his concerns regarding the homophobia contained within the pamphlet's rhetoric.
He told Fairfax Media the pamphlet demonstrated the "unhinged and unfounded abuse" a plebiscite campaign could encourage.
"How do we measure the harm inflicted by a long and poisonous debate, where all the offensive prejudice of the past week will be amplified and magnified?" he asked.
[Main image] Former MP Chris Miles.