This month, you’ll get mail again — you know those non-electronic letters that get posted to where you live?
But don’t carelessly throw everything out, because one of those letters will be the postal vote for the same-sex marriage plebiscite, which will determine whether same-sex marriage becomes legal in Australia.
Based on the stats, a ‘yes’ vote — which will put the wheels in motion to legalise same-sex marriage — seems likely. According to the Australian Electoral Commission, there was a huge surge in people enrolling to vote in the week leading up to August 24. Most of these new enrolments were young people, too.
However, that doesn’t mean you should become complacent because you think everyone else’s ‘yes’ votes will carry the result. Think about the 2016 U.S. election: it wasn’t compulsory (like this postal vote), and people just assumed Hillary Clinton would win. We all know that happened next.
Now that the date of the postal plebiscite has been settled, we’re in the midst of campaign season. Starting last week, a slew of ‘vote no’ campaigns have gone public to convince Australians that the definition of marriage should not be changed to include people of same-sex attraction.
Here are the ones we’ve seen so far — we can’t imagine how they’d make people ‘vote no,’ but weirder things have happened…
The ‘widespread and compulsory’ TV spot
The first ‘vote no’ campaign to air on TV was this one from the Coalition for Marriage, which features three mothers warning Aussies about parents ‘losing the right to choose’ if marriage equality passes.
It’s also a low-key campaign against the Safe Schools program, with the mothers getting worried about their sons wearing dresses as part of their uniforms.
Haven’t they heard about the schoolboys who purposely wore traditional girls’ uniforms to protest against their school for not letting them wear shorts in the heat? It was genius!
The meme that accidentally made Meghan Trainor the face of the ‘vote no’ campaign
Someone decided to make an anti-same-sex marriage meme with the words ‘My vote is NO, you need to let it go’ alongside Meghan Trainor’s face. This must have seemed ~convenient~ because Meghan’s song, “No,” has the lyrics, “My name is No, you need to let it go,” so they probably thought it would make for a catchy campaign.
But they probably should have checked with Meghan first. The American singer slammed the Facebook group where the meme was circulated, because she 100% supports marriage equality.
The group has since removed the meme, and apologised to Meghan for using her image.
The ad that compares same-sex couples to seat belts
Where to start with this one… In this leaflet that’s making the rounds, it reads, ‘A “No” vote is a yes to REAL marriage,’ and then proceeds to use some kind of weird seatbelt analogy to represent heterosexual couples and homosexual couples.
Only a standard seatbelt ‘works.’
Um, yeah — when you’re talking about vehicle safety!
We actually have no words for this one.
The poster that says same-sex parents are abusive
From the derogatory language to the inaccurate stats, this poster, which was spotted around Melbourne, cruelly demonises same-sex parents as abusers. According to these ‘stats,’ 92% of children raised by gay parents are abused, 51% have depression, and 71% are abused.
The stats were credited to Donald Paul Sullins, a priest at the Catholic University of America who research has been widely discredited, the ABC reports.