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‘Burn all faggots’: Shocking hate speech during Australia equal marriage survey prompts legal action

Ella Braidwood August 31, 2018
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 07: Tracy Clark and her partner Justyna Greinart embrace as they gather with a crowd of people to watch a large television screen at Federation Square as it is announced that same-sex marriage will be legal in Australia with Parliament agreeing to change the Marriage Act and end the ban on gay and lesbian couples marrying on December 7, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. The historic bill was passed on the final day of parliamentart sitting for 2017. The legislation means same-sex couples will now be able to be legally married in Australia. Australians voted 'Yes' in the Marriage Law Postal Survey for the law to be changed in November. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The postal vote led to same-sex marriage being legalised (Scott Barbour/Getty)

A non-profit legal group has filed an anti-discrimination case against 25 people over hate speech — including “burn all faggots” — during Australia’s Marriage Law Postal Survey.

The LGBTI Legal Service lodged the complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland after receiving funding from the state government to investigate potential hate speech.

The service said it had collected more than 220 examples of hate speech, ranging from individuals posting on social media to neo-Nazi groups distributing posters on university campuses.

Two women kiss after the Australian Parliament passes equal marriage on December 7 2017. (Scott Barbour/Getty)

Online posts and comments during the postal survey period included: “Burn all faggots #voteno,””Hitler had the right idea about homosexuals – burn them,” “Send the poofters to their own island,” and “You are all getting rooftopped,” reports the Brisbane Times.

Equal marriage was passed by the Australian parliament on December 7 last year, following a voluntary postal survey on the issue.

More than six in 10 (61.6 percent) of Australians that took part in the postal survey voted in support of same-sex marriage.

Matilda Alexander, president of the LGBTI Legal Service, said: “To those who would publicly vilify and condemn us for our simple acts of love, we say enough is enough. We have been shamed, shunned and looked down on for too many years.”

Alexander aded: “These shocking comments are hate speech and today we are holding the perpetrators to account.

“The Postal Survey opened the door to homophobia and vilification being expressed under the guise of legitimate debate. This case will close that door.”

Openly lesbian senator Penny Wong made a number of heartfelt speeches in support of equal marriage in the Australian Parliament during the campaign. (Michael Masters/Getty)

Australia’s equal marriage law was implemented on December 9. The law immediately recognised same-sex marriages previously performed overseas between Australian citizens as legal.

The first gay wedding in Australia took place on December 15.

According to the Guardian, named individuals in the LGBTI Legal Service’s complaint will have to go to a conference, where they will be given the opportunity to remove offensive comments and apologise.

If they refuse to do this, they could be prosecuted under Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.

More: Australia, Australia, equal marriage, postal survey, survey

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