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Australian law bans speech vilifying opponents in gay ‘marriage’ debate

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

AUSTRALIA, September 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Australian parliament is expected to pass a temporary law this week making it illegal to “vilify” or “intimidate” supporters and opponents of same-sex “marriage” as the country braces for a non-binding postal vote on the issue.

The bill applies to content produced by the “yes” and “no” campaigns.  

“It includes measures to prevent vilification, intimidation, or threats to cause harm on the basis of the sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or the religious convictions of someone during the survey period,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. The measure will "safeguard against hate speech."

“I have no fear whatsoever with regard to any of the comments that I have made on the public record,” said Lyle Shelton of the Australian Christian Lobby, which is urging people to vote “no.”

“I will always stand up and criticize public policy which requires a child to miss out on their mother and father, not through tragedy or desertion but because that public policy mandates that,” said Shelton.

"Shelton said the ACL had been subjected to death threats, vitriolic remarks labeling its members homophobes and bigots, [and] had white powder mailed to it," The Guardian reported.

A car explosion outside the ACL's office in December caused damage to the building. A man has been charged with arson.

Those in violation of the new law could be fined up to $12,600 and potentially face legal action if the Attorney General agrees to it.

The Coalition for Marriage is arguing that redefining marriage would lead to the removal of gender distinctions from society, threaten freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and radicalize sex education.

“When marriage is redefined, there are consequential changes in education programs and policies in schools, and parents are increasingly excluded from having a say in the sex education of their children,” the Coalition for Marriage warned.

It cites a dramatic increase in gender dysphoria in children who were taught about gender fluidity. Children will be encouraged to experiment sexually at younger ages, it said, and schools will be obligated to teach students about homosexuality. 

An ad from Coalition for Marriage features a woman explaining her son was told he could wear a dress to school and another saying seventh graders are being told to role-play same-sex relationships.

“You can vote no,” the ad says at the end.

The “yes” campaign is backed by more than 1,000 corporations, sports leagues, and banks. The CEO of Qantas recently donated $1 million of his own money to the “yes” campaign.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is encouraging Australians to vote for same-sex "marriage."

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