Anti-trans group Binary Australia has claimed a political attack ad criticising a Labor Senator who supported “Drag Queen Story Time” has been banned by the Outdoor Media Association for breaching its rules.
The political ad, authorised by Binary, shows a photo of Labor leader Bill Shorten next to a depiction of a drag queen reading stories to children.
The photos are accompanied by a quote from Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Equality Louise Pratt that reads “Drag queen story time is a wonderful idea” followed by text discouraging people from voting for Labor.
Senator Pratt made the remarks last November after the owners of a Perth bookshop received threats and abuse after inviting two drag performers to read children’s stories at an event for rainbow families.
“It’s appalling to see this small family run business targeted by homophobic hate. No business or family should be subjected to these kinds of acts,” Pratt said at the time.
“Drag queen story time is a wonderful idea that celebrates diversity and I know that children and families will really enjoy this family-friendly celebration of LGBTI culture.”
The Outdoor Media Association told Binary they rejected the billboard because it portrayed people “in a way which discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual preference, religion, disability, mental illness or political belief,” according to the Australian newspaper.
Binary director Kirralie Smith said the ban violated freedom of speech and stifled discussion about the issue ahead of the federal election.
“Labor has made their position very clear… they believe that a drag queen should teach your kids that their gender is fluid, that they can choose if they are a boy or girl,” she told The Australian.
“We are not able to even have the debate about whether or not this is a good idea during a federal election. And this a slap in the face to the parents of Australia.”
“Drag Queen Story Hour” is a program originating in the US which aims to capture the “imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood” and give kids “glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models”.
But Binary say on their website the family-friendly event “sounds like a nightmare” and they accuse Labor of having a “dangerous agenda to indoctrinate our kids”.
The anti-equality Marriage Alliance group relaunched as Binary last November after the “no” marriage equality campaign failed, saying at the time the group would fight “gender fluidity”.
“Binary exists to challenge the aggressive agenda to de-gender our society in the areas of education, health, military, business, politics and the law,” the group said at the time.
“Binary will protect our children from those who would seek to indoctrinate them with programs designed to promote the LGBTI agenda while bullying anyone who opposes it.”
The federal election will be held on Saturday, May 18.
Equality Australia recently released the Coalition, Labor and the Greens’ responses to an 18-question survey on a range of LGBTIQ issues to inform voters.
Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby reviewed the survey’s results and this week released their “Rainbow Votes” scorecard highlighting issues needing to be addressed by the next federal government, and whether the three parties provided “Full Commitment”, “Partial Commitment” or “No Commitment/No Response” on those issues.
You can view the scorecard and the three parties’ responses to the survey questions on the VGLRL’s “Rainbow Votes” website here.