Hundreds of homophobic attacks have taken place in Australia during survey vote
Although the outcome of the Australian marital survey postage vote looks like it is firmly in favour of same-sex marriage, it doesn’t excuse the fact that LGBT community have been subject to a barrage of attacks since the postal vote began.
Whether it’s the razor blades found nestled in the same-sex marriage ballots, the sixteen-year-old violently attacked by a man screaming anti-gay slurs, or even someone kicking a dog because it wore a same-sex marriage scarf, the number of homophobic attacks in the country have been horrifying and endless.
According to the LGBTI Legal Service, who have kept track of the attacks since the vote began, the group have collected 220 examples of hate speech during that time, says Gay Star News.
And unsurprisingly, the group are angry.
“Unfortunately, throughout the Marriage Law Postal Survey it has been virtually impossible for anyone who identifies as queer to avoid exposure to views which condemn who they are as a person,” said Matilda Alexander, President of the LGBTI Legal Service.
“The Postal Survey has opened the door to homophobia and vilification being expressed under the guise of legitimate debate.”
“Instead of a legitimate debate, the LGBTI community has had to put up with weeks of destructive commentary which only takes society backwards on the progress which has lead to broader acceptance of LGBTI people in the last 30 years.”
The LGBTI Legal Service, based in Queensland, said it was preparing a complaint under anti-discrimination laws.
The postal vote, which has not been subject to the same laws as a referendum, which would prevent campaigners from using malicious or misleading campaign materials, led Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to lambast the Prime Minister and declare him responsible “for every hurtful bit of filth that this debate will unleash.”
The postal vote, carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, has been criticised for its numerous failings.
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During the survey, Australians sold their forms on eBay to the highest bidder, and a series of the forms were sent to dead people.
In spite of the PFlag (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and Melbourne lesbian mother Felicity Marlowe presenting the case that it was wrong to ask people to sign up to the electoral roll for the vote because the issue could not be considered an electoral matter, the survey was declared lawful by the Australian High Court.
The judges ordered the plaintiffs to pay costs.