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Day 2 Of The Postal Vote Campaign And The Respectful Debate" Is Not Slowing Down

On day two of the "respectful debate" for the postal survey on same-sex marriage, ABC staff were silenced and received hate-filled post.

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Those who most wanted a public debate on same-sex marriage (the "no" voters) often said that it would be a respectful debate. Well, here we are on day two and things are already getting pretty ugly.

Lyle Shelton, head of the Australian Christian Lobby — the loudest voice on the "no" side — refused to withdraw his claim that marriage equality will create a "stolen generation" of the children of LGBTI Australians.

Lyle Shelton refuses to withdraw the ACL's statement that Marriage Equality will create a 'stolen generation' of ki… https://t.co/LntWu8hGaC

On ABC News Breakfast Shelton claimed the postal survey "will be a referendum on freedom of speech and Safe Schools, whether children should be taught that their gender is fluid".

In response, Australian Marriage Equality's Tiernan Brady said: "This is the kind of misdirection that's so hurtful and damaging and poisonous to the type of society we want to have. All across Australia, lesbian and gay people are successfully raising children. They will continue to do that, whether marriage equality happens or not. Nothing will prevent that."

ABC News Breakfast host Michael Rowland received a postcard asking if he approved of the "filthy practice" of "sodomy" and compared gay people to "brownshirts" (i.e. Nazis)

And it looked liked such a lovely postcard.. Guess the campaign is well and truly underway. #ssm #auspol… https://t.co/T8CRy6tdXT

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Then, ABC staff members were reportedly told by management to avoid barracking on social media for one side or the other in the same-sex marriage debate.

The former PM @TonyAbbottMHR calls it "political correctness" which is the new term for what used to be known as "good manners" #ssm

Liberal senator Zed Seselja on Sky News claimed there was a lot of censorship of the "no" side's views, and accused the ABC of "not being fair" on the "no side" and effectively campaigning on the issue. He also claimed the "yes" side had made death threats in the past.

Meanwhile, his colleague, Liberal MP Andrew Laming, in a tense debate with former Labor premier Kristina Keneally on Sky News, suggested if she didn't like the debate, she could go to North Korea.

"If you don't like it you can go to North Korea where you don't get that option," govt MP Andrew Laming says.

Labor MP Tim Watts shares some correspondence.

Lots of respectful correspondence today #ThanksMalcolm

The Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed the details and is now calling it a "postal survey". RIP plebiscite.

Australian Bureau of Statistics @ABSStats has updated its website to include details of the "Australian Marriage La… https://t.co/kvGuVw9c3m

The minister responsible for the ABS was heckled in Question Time.

The minister in charge of the ABS Michael McCormack is now being called “Survey Monkey” by the opposition in the parliamentary chamber.

And we were reminded that the minister now in charge of the agency responsible for surveying the public on same-sex marriage once said gay sex was "sordid behaviour" and "unnatural acts".

Oh and check out the minister he directed it to. #qt

Josh Taylor is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Josh Taylor at josh.taylor@buzzfeed.com.

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