The Group Behind The "Political" Father's Day Ad Has A Long Anti-Gay History

    The "heart-tugging" ad is by a group that has argued against marriage equality for years and claims homosexuality is a "gender disorientation pathology".

    The Australian reported on Saturday that this ad by the Fatherhood Foundation, aka Dads4Kids, would not go to air on free-to-air TV networks because it was deemed "too political."

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    The organisation -- which has since deleted its Facebook page and website -- told the newspaper that it had "graciously run these ads for free as a community service ­announcement" for 15 years, but it was deemed "too political" in light of the same-sex marriage postal survey.

    Some, such as conservative columnist Miranda Devine, interpreted this as meaning Free TV Australia "rejected" the ad.

    Sunday Telegraph

    Miranda Devine's Sunday Telegraph column

    Free TV Australia denied that it had rejected the ad, issuing a statement yesterday saying that, as per the Broadcast Services Act requirements, Fatherhood Foundation was required to add an ID tag to the commercial to ensure that people who see an ad of a political nature know who authorised the ad, and who spoke in the commercial.

    For example, at the end of the Coalition For Marriage's first ad, there is this screen.

    Coalition For Marriage

    The organisation refused to add this disclosure to their ad, so it will not air on free-to-air in its current form.

    While the group claims the ad was not intended to be part of the same-sex marriage debate, Dads4Kids/Fatherhood Foundation has a long history of arguing against same-sex marriage and even homosexuality itself.

    According to the organisation's financial documents on the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission website, Fatherhood Foundation is a group founded by Warwick Marsh, who runs a Christian ministry called Australian Heart Ministries on the south coast of New South Wales.

    Marsh was removed from a men's health ambassador position in 2008 by Labor government health minister Nicola Roxon because of a document produced by the organisation called "21 Reasons Why Gender Matters".

    The group has sent this document to various parliamentary inquiries on the issue of same-sex marriage, including in the New South Wales Parliament, and a 2014 parliamentary committee looking at a private member's bill seeking to recognise overseas marriages entered into by same-sex couples.

    The document refers to homosexuality as "gender disorientation pathology" and claims it can be cured.

    "Many have left the homosexual lifestyle, and genuine healing is possible. While it may well be a slow and difficult process, substantial healing and freedom is possible, as experienced by many thousands of former sufferers of gender disorientation pathology," the document states.

    It also suggests that homosexuality is the result of a lack of development in the teenage years:

    "Basically, homosexual men, feeling inadequate in their own masculinity, admire masculine qualities in others and seek to absorb them through sexual union. Lesbian relationships often develop from an emotional co-dependency, where feminine love alone can be trusted, to bring completion to the feminine soul," it states.

    The document also incorrectly claims gay people sexually abuse children at higher rates than heterosexual people.

    All the TV networks BuzzFeed News has spoken to have said they will air ads from both the "yes" and the "no" sides of the debate, provided they meet ad standards requirements that the ads do not vilify people on the basis of their race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual preference, religion, disability, mental illness or political belief.

    Do you have questions about Australia's upcoming postal survey on same-sex marriage? Same. Here's a list of everything you need to know, and more.

    Josh Taylor is a Senior Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Josh Taylor at

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