Several Australian businesses that publicly support marriage equality have received phone messages from a woman claiming to be a disgruntled client or franchisee.
On Saturday evening, NSW Sport and Event Management received one such anonymous call, from a woman who said she would take her business elsewhere unless they "removed their funding" for the Australian Marriage Equality website.
They posted the recording on their Facebook page, along with a sassy response.
"We need to let you know that we will no longer be using your organisation... you don't believe in children having a mother or a father," the anonymous woman said in the message.
"We are going to send a group email to ensure no one else that we know will use your organisation again until you remove your funding for the Australian Marriage Equality website."
NSW Sport and Event Management clarified that their logo appears on the AME website as they are a marriage equality supporter, but they do not "fund" the website.
Most curious, though, was the identity of the woman. NSW Sport and Event Management wrote on Facebook that as a small business with a specific audience, it was unlikely she was actually a client of theirs.
"We're a small business, and we have less than 10 regular clients, all of whom support our organisation," they wrote. "So who the heck was this?"
The call to NSW Sport and Event Management comes after several, near-identical calls to other businesses that had expressed their support publicly with AME earlier in the year.
Recordings of phone messages left with Mortgage Choice in Newtown, Sydney, and Pink Ginger Photography in Canberra were supplied to BuzzFeed News. The messages follow the same pattern as the NSW Sport and Event Management call.
The woman claims to be a Mortgage Choice franchisee, saying the Newtown office should rescind its support for marriage equality.
"We've got enough trouble trying to get people to take up loans with us without you carrying on like that pushing for gay marriage," she said.
"Put your own name on there, don't use Mortgage Choice, and we're contacting head office about what you're doing on that website."
In the call to Pink Ginger Photography, she said she was marrying her fiance "very soon", and the happy couple were planning to use Pink Ginger until seeing they supported marriage equality.
"We've seen that you're on the Australian Marriage Equality website paying for their push for gay marriage," she said.
"My fiance and I are definitely not going with Pink Ginger and we're going to contact all our Canberra friends about what you're doing."
A SameSame report earlier this month obtained similar phone messages left with Aegeus recruitment and a pro-marriage equality civil celebrant as well.
NSW Sport and Event Management have been contacted for comment.
Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Lane Sainty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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