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This Is All The "Respectful Debate" On Day One Of The Postal Vote Campaign

Proponents of a public vote on same-sex marriage often say it will be a "respectful debate"...but here's what we've had just one day after it was announced.

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Former speaker Bronwyn Bishop ran the "slippery slope" argument — conflating same-sex marriage with bestiality.

Bronwyn Bishop: The institution of marriage is being tampered with, it could led to polygamy. MORE:… https://t.co/T7Q2a0R6H8

"You've got professor Peter Singer AC who believes that...if there is sex between humans and animals that's fine, so long as they're both satisfied."

At least she didn't mention socialism.

Liberal assistant minister for immigration and border protection Alex Hawke expressed concern that people may be "sued for expressing their religious freedom".

.@AlexHawkeMP: I'm conservative on marriage, I don't want to see people sued for expression of religious freedom.… https://t.co/R6VUhrQxnH

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

ABC

"Do you have to be married to declare your love for someone? There are many people I love but I'm not married to them."

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott suggested people vote no in the plebiscite because it's about...freedom of speech.

.@TonyAbbottMHR says 'well done' to @TurnbullMalcolm for sticking with a plebiscite on same-sex marriage. More:… https://t.co/HhilzordX9

"If you don’t like same-sex marriage: vote no. If you are worried about freedom of speech and freedom of religion, vote no; and if you don’t like political correctness, vote no, because this is the best way to stop it in its tracks."

Then on 2GB on Wednesday afternoon, the former PM said encouraged people to vote no if they don't like being "pushed around by lobby groups" and said "politically correct activists" are engaged in "a war on our way of life".

Openly-gay monarchist and former head of the Australian Broadcasting Authority David Flint told 2GB that people could change their genders and, using an "extreme example", go and rape women in bathrooms.

YouTube / Via youtube.com

"We now see in the United Kingdom, moving from the decision by the Cameron government to introduce same-sex marriage ... the present government is saying on the basis of that — this is extraordinary — we can now move to another stage, and that is by statutory declaration, you can change your sex. So let me think of an extreme example, if you like to go into women's lavatories and rape women, you can now say 'I'm a woman'. You file a declaration and you become a woman, and you are legally entitled to go into a lavatory or a dressing room. It's an idiotic thing."

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is already arguing that the plebiscite isn't about same-sex marriage but "freedom of speech" and "Safe Schools".

"There is no greater threat to freedom of conscience and freedom of speech than same-sex marriage," ACL managing director Lyle Shelton said in a statement. "Gender fluid ideology is its fellow traveller and the next great ‘step forward’, according to the UK Government, which redefined marriage in 2013."

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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