While the High Court of Australia rejected a challenge to the Turnbull government’s $122 million postal vote on same-sex marriage, the same people trying to block the survey were also preparing for it going ahead anyway.
Within minutes of the decision, the Equality Campaign released new TV and radio ads encouraging people to vote “yes” with the tagline “Let’s get this done”.
The 30-second TV ad features gold medal winning swimmer Ian Thorpe, the Sydney Convicts, Australia’s first gay rugby union team, and long-time marriage equality supporter and Uniting Church minister, reverend Murray Fysh among a range of people saying they’ll vote yes.
Thorpe, who won five gold medals at the Olympics, only came out as gay in 2014, following his retirement from the pool, having publicly denied it throughout his career. He’s subsequently made a TV show about bullying.
Campaign executive director Tiernan Brady said the yes side was “in it to win it”.
“This must be a campaign of millions of respectful conversations that unites the country. We haven’t a moment to lose and we are hitting the ground running with hundreds of thousands of supporters talking about why marriage equality matters,” he said.
Advertising on the issue was kicked off last week with an TV ad for the “no” campaign featuring three mothers concerned about about sex education in schools and linking it to a yes vote.
One mother claimed a school “told my son that he could wear a dress to school next year if he wanted”, which was denied by the Victorian high school principal where the incident allegedly took place.
“We checked with all the teachers, it never happened,” said John Albiston, principal of Frankston High.
But when TV show The Project parodied the ad two days later, it was widely condemned as disrespectful, including by advocates for the yes campaign.
Concerns about the tone of debate on the issue has been central to advocates in favour of same-sex marriage, arguing it count damage the mental health of vulnerable gay and lesbian people, although numerous members of the “no” side claim they have been the victims of vicious attacks by the “yes” side.
Here’s the new ad by the Equality Campaign
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