Another Anti-Gay Poster From A Neo Nazi Group Has Surfaced In Melbourne
"I wasn't shocked, but it made me angry."
A Neo-Nazi group claims to have put up shocking anti-gay posters around the Melbourne CBD over the weekend to argue against same-sex marriage.
It comes in the midst of a heated debate in Australia over same-sex marriage, LGBTI rights, and LGBTI people more broadly, prompted by the government's national postal survey on the issue.
Last Monday, a single picture posted on Twitter of a different poster saying Stop The Fags went viral and attracted widespread condemnation from Australian political leaders.
Melbourne woman Alice Berkeley told BuzzFeed News she had spotted a new poster, which made similar claims, at a tram stop outside the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in the CBD on Sunday morning.
BuzzFeed News has chosen to blur the content of the poster. Berkeley tore it down after taking a photograph of it.
"I wasn't shocked — I was living in Abbotsford when there were "AIDS cures fags" stickers everywhere — but it made me angry," she said.
"The presumption that that sentiment would be welcome in the public space right now is appalling."
BuzzFeed News has been sent several shots of the new poster seen in Melbourne from multiple sources.
The claims made on the poster are not supported by consensus research about the the wellbeing of children raised by same-sex couples.
Comprehensive research reviews from, among others, the government agency Australian Institute of Family Studies and Columbia Law School, have found there is no significant difference in wellbeing between the children of same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents.
Neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance claimed on Twitter to be behind the posters, and said its source was an article published in Quadrant journal by legal academic Augusto Zimmerman, who is a fellow at the International Academy for the Study of the Jurisprudence of the Family.
Earlier this year, Zimmerman was floated by some conservatives as a possible replacement for Gillian Triggs as president of the Australian Human Rights Commissioner. His candidacy was endorsed by former tennis player and anti-gay pastor Margaret Court.
Last week a different poster with online Neo-Nazi origins attracted widespread attention. That poster, reportedly up in Melbourne, also said "Stop The Fags" and featured a drawing of a child seemingly being menaced by adults wielding rainbow belts.
The poster attracted nationwide media coverage and provoked a response from opposition leader Bill Shorten.
However, BuzzFeed News was unable to directly speak to the person who took the original photo, and nobody else was able to provide evidence of the posters.
According to a reverse image search, an image of the first poster first appeared on the Neo-Nazi Iron March forum in March this year.
Meanwhile, another anti-gay poster with white supremacist origins has been circulating online with the Katter's Australian Party (KAP) logo on it.
The poster, titled "Misplaced Pride", makes several claims about gay people and the health risks of being gay.
There is no suggestion anyone from the Katter's Australian Party was involved with creating the poster.
KAP is a minor party formed by Queensland federal MP Bob Katter in 2011.
Katter infamously claimed in 1989 that he would "walk backwards from Bourke" if anyone found a gay person living in his rural electorate, and, more recently, criticised the gay community for taking the word "gay" for themselves.
A QR code on the poster leads to a now-defunct version of a website belonging to American white supremacist group Vanguard America, which was involved in organising the recent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
BuzzFeed accessed the Vanguard website via a cached version to find the "Misplaced Pride" poster available as a download — except with the words "Vanguard America" in place of the KAP logo.
The earliest iteration of the poster with the KAP logo appears to be an account belonging to a person or persons who asked to be known as "Sasha" and claimed to be a Russian living in Australia.
After initially declining to comment and saying only, "But let it be known that I bear no ill will towards Katter's Australian Party", the account user eventually claimed to have replaced the logo in order to circulate the poster without the Vanguard America tag.
"Okay fuck it, I thought it was funny what Katter said about there being no gays in Far North Queensland," they told BuzzFeed News via direct message on Twitter.
But Sasha declined to give BuzzFeed News further details about their identity.
"No one from Katter's Australian Party created or endorsed the poster and we do not appreciate the unauthorised use of our logo on such materials," KAP media manager Jessica Johnston told BuzzFeed News.
There is currently a Senate committee looking into the postal survey on same-sex marriage. Labor senator Jenny McAllister has asked Australians to submit offensive or degrading material to the committee.