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The Marriage Equality Debate Has Reached Fever Pitch And Nobody Has Any Chill

Science! Equality! Children! Definitions! Tradition!

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It's shaping up to be a big couple of weeks for marriage equality in Australia.

Cole Bennetts / Getty Images

With a cross-party bill for reform set to be introduced, politicians are under pressure on the issue.

And if we've learned anything from the past few days... it's that advocates on both sides of the debate have literally NO. CHILL.

As politicians cruised into Canberra airport last night, they were met with rainbow lights. Marriage equality = good!

Martin Ollman / Getty Images

Along with the airport's show of support, advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality (AME) launched a new campaign called #WeCanDoThis.

As part of the campaign, two TV advertisements featuring several famous Aussies, including actor Hugo Weaving, journalist Chris Bath and comedian Julia Morris, will screen on multiple channels nationwide.

"Our ad campaign showcases the diversity of support for marriage equality with farmers, football players, priests and parents all coming together to urge Canberra to embrace marriage equality," said AME national director Rodney Croome.


View this video on YouTube

AME was also busy preparing LITERALLY HUNDREDS of letters addressed to undecided MPs from pro-marriage equality businesses.

Australian Marriage Equality

Sixty MPs will receive the letters from businesses including Citibank, Target and Kmart.

Australian corporates are increasingly behind marriage equality, with over 500 companies registering their support with AME.

Those on the other side of the divide have been busy too.


Marriage Alliance, a new lobby group, compare same-sex marriage to an iceberg in their TV advertisement. Marriage equality = bad!

View this video on YouTube

According to the brand-new group, there is more to same-sex marriage than just, well, same-sex marriage.

The reform could affect sex education in schools, freedom of speech and the rights of children, the group argues. In the iceberg video, Australians are asked to "step back and consider all the issues around same-sex marriage".

However, channels Seven and Ten declined to run the advertisement, sparking anger and accusations of censorship from the group.

"It is quite shocking that two major TV networks are denying the basic right to freedom of speech and expression on an issue that supports the current law of the nation," said spokesperson Sophie York.

"We are asking for a fair go – to have a debate about an issue that should be discussed openly and transparently, and without intimidation or fear. Why is public debate being silenced?"

The. Australian. Marriage. Forum. took. out. a. full. page. advertisement. in. The. Australian.

"We are talking straight against [marriage equality advocate's] claim it's all about equality for adults," AMF frontman David van Gend told the ABC.

"Why would you have a law that deliberately deprives future children of either their mother or their father?"

The advertisement features quotes and pictures from several people, including former prime minister Julia Gillard, fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana, and deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek.

"The radicalising of sex education and usurping of parental authority is a main objective of the homosexual revolution," the ad reads.

"Serious gay activists do not want to 'join' marriage; they want to take it and remake it in their own sexually radical image," another part says.

The advertisement also compares marriage equality to the Stolen Generations – a comparison the AMF has made several times.


Plibersek, who is a strong supporter of marriage equality, distanced herself from the group.

Today, opponents of marriage equality resort to a paid newspaper ad to suggest I support their nonsense #theyrenotfoolinganyone

However, van Gend denied the quotes used – from Plibersek and others – were taken out of context.

And the Christian Federation brought heeeaaaaaaps of flowers to parliament house.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

Executive director Peter Kentley told the ABC the flowers were intended as a "thank you" to prime minister Tony Abbott for his support of the traditional definition of marriage.

"We have different names for different relationships," he said, arguing that civil unions should be a sufficient status for same-sex relationships.

Kentley also implored Australians to look to research on same-sex marriage and its effects on children, which, unfortunately for him, tends to fall on the side of marriage equality advocates.

"It's not a matter of my opinion, we just have to look at the science, do the research and let the facts speak for themselves." Kentley did not name any specific studies.

Although the flowers were intended for Abbott, a few bunches made their way to the offices of senators David Leyonhjelm and Ricky Muir... who both definitely support same-sex marriage.

.@lanesainty @Rob_Stott Because quite a few are now in the offices of Senators Leyonhjelm and Muir #auspol

It's going to be a long week.

Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at

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