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We Asked Conservatives What The "Rainbow Agenda" Is

"Buy groceries, feed cat, get equal rights."

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As Australia's marriage equality plebiscite looms, there are certain phrases that will not stop resurfacing.

Leo Ramirez / AFP / Getty Images

One in particular is shaping up to be a favourite of many groups likely to be involved in the "no" campaign: the "rainbow agenda".

Michael Dodge / Getty Images

David van Gend, of the Australian Marriage Forum, told the Sydney Morning Herald part of the reason he opposes same-sex marriage is because he fears the "rainbow agenda".

Sydney Morning Herald / Via

Lyle Shelton, of the Australian Christian Lobby, has said numerous times that the "rainbow agenda" is a package deal with same-sex marriage.

@LyleShelton / Via Twitter: @LyleShelton
@LyleShelton / Via Twitter: @LyleShelton

Anti-marriage equality group Marriage Alliance has also enthusiastically adopted the phrase on its social media.

Marriage Alliance / Facebook

There are variations, too! The age-old "gay agenda" has made a few appearances – including from Senator Cory Bernardi.

Adelaide Advertiser / Via

Bernardi also labelled various LGBTI campaigns as "an agenda of intolerance" ...

Cory Bernardi / Via

... while the Australian Christian Lobby replaced "agenda" with "politics", presumably just to mix things up a little.

ACL / Via

But what *is* the Rainbow Agenda? We asked three of its most enthusiastic proponents to explain.

Lyle Shelton, Australian Christian Lobby

"We have observed that the rainbow political agenda encompasses the so-called 'Safe Schools' program teaching children their gender is fluid, the political push to redefine marriage (also pushed by 'Safe Schools'), the political push for liberalising surrogacy laws so two men can access babies, and the push to use anti-discrimination laws to restrict free speech on marriage as seen by the legal action against Tasmania's Archbishop Julian Porteous. All of this activity, and more, is being driven by political activists who use the rainbow flag."

Sophie York, Marriage Alliance

"There is a clear agenda being driven to change social policy on a range of issues including same sex marriage, sex and gender education in schools, and seeking to remove freedom of speech protections. All of these are draped in the rainbow flag."

David van Gend, Australian Marriage Forum

"Those of us who once thought that 'marriage equality' was just about marriage now realise we were wrong. For the serious players, it is about completing a revolution. It is about capturing the cultural and legal high ground from where the entire 'rainbow agenda' can be enforced: from imposing radical 'Safe Schools' gender theory on our kids to passing laws to let cross-dressing males use girls’ bathrooms; from bankrupting bakers who don’t want to write a gay 'marriage' slogan on a cake to prosecuting church leaders for teaching traditional values on marriage; from removing ‘mother and rather’ from birth certificates to changing ‘husband and wife’ into ‘Partner A&B’."

We also asked people on Twitter to define the Rainbow Agenda. You know, just to see if the definitions matched.

Twitter: how would you define "the rainbow agenda", in one tweet?

Some response were sincere, saying the rainbow agenda is one of equality.

@lanesainty to know all my kids will grow up with same opportunity, regardless of where they sit in (or out of) Rainbow spectrum.

@lanesainty protecting the lives of queer + trans youth, providing a safe environment for them, reducing suicide rate among queer youth

Others were deeply unconvinced by the rainbow agenda argument...

...and others still opted for The Muppets.


Rainbows are visions But only illusions And rainbows have nothing to hide


Not sure, but it would definitely involve unicorns and glitter. And equality. I'm terrible at writing agendas.

@lanesainty buy groceries, feed cat, get equal rights

@lanesainty The timetable for the Rainbow Connection?

@lanesainty somewhere over the government of Oz

@lanesainty rainbows coming into our country, stealing our jobs and women

So, there you have it. All clear?

Johan Ordonez / AFP / Getty Images