Australia’s anti-gay marriage campaign: It’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Well that took all of about a week.

Earlier this month, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vowed to push ahead with a public vote on same-sex marriage without permission from Parliament.

He ignored warnings from the opposition and from LGBT campaigners that a public vote on the issue would stir up homophobic sentiment, insisting the vote would be “civilised”.

But just days after campaigning began to gear up ahead of the postal vote, the anti-gay marriage side have already resorted to trotting out some of the most tired and reductive homophobic stereotypes.

In a press release New South Wales MP Fred Nile, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party and a key member of the ‘Coalition for Marriage’, took the opportunity to attack the country’s gay community.

He bragged about making a “ferocious attack on same sex homosexual so-called marriage”, describing gay sex as an “abomination”.

Australia’s anti-gay marriage campaign: It’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve

He wrote: “The Almighty God the Creator has stated homosexual Same-Sex sexual relations are an ABOMINATION that is something God’s [sic] hates. Can anyone vote for it?”

An anti-gay pamphlet produced by Nile and republished by Buzzfeed, titled Family World News, proclaims “IN THE BEGINNING ALMIGHTY GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE!”

The pamphlet features contributions from other key members of the Coalition for Marriage including Senator Eric Abetz, the former Leader of the Government in the Senate, and Lyle Shelton of Australian Christian Lobby.

In his column, Abetz claims: Make no mistake – the push by some to change marriage from a man/woman institution is destructive for our society.

“Study after study (if needed) supports our natural intuition that children are safer and prosper the most having the security of knowing their biological parents and the diversity of male and female role models in a marriage relationship.

No matter how hard and genuinely two men or two women may try, they will not be able (all things being equal) to provide the benefit that a man and woman combination in marriage can bring to a child.

“To deny this is to deny the fundamental difference between the sexes. Scientists tell us our chromosomal structures have thousands of differences. ”

Abetz added: “It is a matter of regret so many others can’t see through the glibness of ‘love is love’ and “marriage equality’.

“If these glib meaningless phrases are to be given any genuine meaning, then ‘love is love’ in all situations and ‘marriage equality’ should be open to all – as the Greens assert. If this is the standard then who is to judge the quality/type/validity of any love – within families, with more than just one other, or indeed why not the Eiffel Tower?”

Shelton added: “While it may make rainbow activists feel uncomfortable, the demand for ‘marriage equality’ must be considered in the light of the inequality it creates for others, particularly children who will be forced to live a motherless or fatherless existence.

“And this, not because of tragedy or desertion, but because public policy decreed it so.Activists are yet to explain the ethics of deliberately requiring a child to miss out on knowing the love of both a mum and a dad.”

Opposition leader Bill Shorten told the PM: “I hold you responsible for every hurtful bit of filth that this debate will unleash – not because the Prime Minister has said it, not because he agrees to it, he clearly doesn’t. But because the Prime Minister has licensed this debate.”