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65 Times The Same-Sex Marriage Debate Was Definitely Not Respectful

"Australians are able, and have demonstrated, that they can have a respectful discussion." — Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, August 8, 2017.

It's been a long three months. (Needless to say, this is a non-exhaustive list.)

Afp Contributor / AFP / Getty Images

1. Bronwyn Bishop conflated homosexuality with bestiality (but at least she didn't mention socialism).

2. ABC host Michael Rowland received a foul anti-gay postcard ... disguised with a cupcake on the front.

3. Tim Minchin called "no" voters "bigoted cunts" in a song that went viral.


4. Lyle Shelton doubled down on his Stolen Generation comparison with the kids of gay parents.

5. Tony Abbott accused Penny Wong of "moral bullying" for defending her family against Shelton's comments.

6. Kevin Andrews compared gay relationships to his "cycling mates".

7. At least one Stop The Fags poster appeared in Melbourne.

It generated a lot of controversy after Channel 10 doctored a copy of the same poster to make it look as if it appeared on a bus shelter.


8. Meanwhile, other anti-gay posters implying same-sex parents are harmful to children were put up in Brisbane.

9. Fred Nile said same-sex relationships were an "abomination" and something that "God hates".


10. Gay monarchist David Flint said he was opposed to marriage equality because people will change genders and ... it's all very confusing.

11. Someone posted white powder to the Australian Christian Lobby.


12. Tyres were slashed outside a performance of iconic gay play Holding the Man in Sydney.


13. More anti-gay Nazi posters in Melbourne. (We didn't publish these ones because they were so offensive.)


14. GP Pansy Lai received threats of physical violence after she appeared in a "no" campaign ad, and was subject to a petition calling for her deregistration.

15. Resources minister Matt Canavan told people to "grow a spine and grow up" if they're upset by the debate.


16. Former Q&A controversialist Zaky Mallah tried to sell his form online for $600. Mallah said the sale was "out of respect for both sides".


17. A caller to ABC Melbourne praised Hitler for murdering gay people in concentration camps, live on air.

18. Police intervened after hundreds of "yes" supporting students at Sydney University protested a booth set up to promote the "no" side. Some scuffles broke out.

Facebook: video.php

19. Protesters unfurled a banner that said "Burn Churches Not Queers" at a "no" campaign launch in Melbourne.

Lyle Shelton / Twitter


20. Kevin Rudd's godson, Sean, was allegedly assaulted after he confronted a man who was ripping down rainbow flags.

21. The AFL was evacuated after a hoax threat call, the day after it put up a "yes" sign outside its headquarters. (The AFL boss said he doesn't know if it was related to the sign.)

22. A children's birthday party entertainment company cut ties with an 18-year-old contractor after she said on social media she would be voting "no".

23. Astro "DJ Funknukl" Labe allegedly headbutted Tony Abbott, who immediately used the incident to warn against voting "yes". (Labe later said it had nothing to do with marriage, and he simply wanted to "headbutt that cunt".)


24. A straight couple in Ballarat had their wedding cancelled by their local Presbyterian church after the bride-to-be posted on Facebook supporting same-sex marriage.

25. A Brisbane woman was left terrified after a man yelled "faggots" and threw rocks through her windows late at night.


26. On the same weekend, swastikas were painted on rainbow flags displayed at three Brisbane houses, sparking a Queensland police investigation.

27. Tony Abbott and the Coalition for Marriage supported calls to ban Macklemore from performing Same Love at the National Rugby League Grand Final.


28. Catholic archbishop Mark Coleridge argued against same-sex marriage by saying, “I mean, parents can’t marry their children. Children can’t marry their parents. Sibling marrying sibling has always been ruled out."

29. The Coalition For Marriage said one its volunteers was subject to a "brutal physical attack" in Victoria, and assault charges were laid.

Facebook: video.php

30. A transgender 16-year-old was allegedly assaulted in Hobart. She says the survey has made her feel less safe.

31. Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad revealed she has been targeted with anti-gay emails and Nazi stickers.


32. Literally someone tried to kick a dog wearing a pro-marriage equality bandana.

33. Quadrant published an article that said LGBTI people are "not only not normal, they are not natural". And worse.

34. "Straight Lives Matter" activist and white nationalist Nick Folkes ran a series of protests in LGBTI-friendly areas, trying to provoke people into responding.

35. Two churches in Melbourne's southeast were graffitied with the slogans "crucify Christians" and "bash bigots", as well as a swastika being equated to a cross.


36. Pauline Hanson used Senate question time to ask if same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy, or underage marriages.

37. This ad.

38. This ad.

39. A woman was kicked out of her church of 22 years for supporting same-sex marriage.


40. Police investigated after a transgender 13-year-old was allegedly harassed on a tram by a man wearing a "vote no" badge.

41. Someone graffitied cars and walls in Enmore in Sydney's inner west with "no".

42. Two protesters interrupted a church service to campaign against same-sex marriage. They were drowned out by a gay-friendly hymn.

43. Yet more anti-gay and anti-trans posters (censored by BuzzFeed News) from neo-Nazi groups popped up in Tasmania.



44. And this anti-gay banner in Brisbane was very confused about anatomy.

45. Columnists really loved calling LGBTI people fascists.

46. A Greek priest allegedly said gays should be shot.

47. There was a flyer that tried to compare same-sex marriage to seat belts? IDK.


The reality was much more confusing.

48. "Vote no to fags" graffiti appeared on Sydney trains.

49. John "Wacka" Williams told Lateline that he doesn't get to marry everyone he loves either.

50. A 14-year-old received death threats from a school friend's dad over supporting same-sex marriage.


51. The former head of Woolworths, Roger Corbett, tried on his own unique analogy.

52. Some old people chanted "Vote No" at Labor politician Penny Sharpe, her partner and kids at the shops.

53. Flyers in Chinese warned people not to vote Labor, so as to protect children from learning "how to sponke their monkeys".

54. There were many terrible flyers delivered to people's houses. Like these.


55. And these.

56. And these.

The Equality Campaign / APH senate inquiry submission

57. Leading "No" campaigner Lyle Shelton told BuzzFeed News that parents should be allowed to send their children to gay conversion therapy.

58. A woman was punched in the face over her pro-gay t-shirt.


59. A Canadian sexual health organisation received threats of violence and hate mail after safe sex ads it put up in June were targeted by the Coalition for Marriage on Facebook.

Coalition for Marriage / Facebook

60. Razor blades were sent back to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in a survey envelope.

61. After his Nationals party insisted on the postal survey, now-booted deputy PM Barnaby Joyce told marriage equality campaigners to get out of his face.

62. Prominent "no" spokesperson David van Gend said homosexuality is "a disordered form of behaviour".


63. A cafe in Tasmania received arson threats for supporting same-sex marriage.

64. "Keep your rainbow drapes to yourself."

65. Tony Abbott left the country to speak to a group that has previously supported criminalisation of homosexuality in some countries.


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