Former prime minister Julia Gillard has labelled a new Australian Marriage Forum (AMF) advertisement which links her apology for forced adoptions to same-sex parenting as offensive.
The ad, aired on the Nine Network, begins with footage of Ms Gillard’s 2013 apology to victims of forced adoptions and then warns that marriage equality would produce a “motherless generation”.
Ms Gillard slammed the forum for hijacking a historical moment to suit its divisive agenda.
A spokesman for Ms Gillard told the Sydney Morning Herald she thought it wrong for her apology to be taken out of context and misused.
“As well as being hurtful to those the subject of the apology, who have already suffered so much, Ms Gillard believes the video is offensive to gay couples, who are parents,” he said.
“Ms Gillard is seeking legal advice about this matter.”
The ad coincided with the start of the Without Consent: Australia’s past adoption practices exhibition at the National Archives which Ms Gillard opened in Canberra last week.
But AMF president Dr David van Gend told the Sydney Morning Herald the footage had been used “respectfully and in the public interest”.
“We were diligent to make sure the ad accurately conveys the context of Ms Gillard’s quote,” he said.
“Of course we will not remove it or stop broadcast (as) this is an intelligent contribution to an important national debate, which praises the national apology for forced adoption and Ms Gillard’s words unreservedly.”
Dr van Gend said the advertisement focused on how the past injustice had violated the primal bond between a mother and her baby.
Australian Marriage Equality deputy director, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, said it was deeply offensive to compare children being raised lovingly and happily by same-sex couples to those who suffered the trauma of forced adoption.
“Generations of studies have shown the children of same-sex couples are just as well adjusted as other children, and that it is love, not gender, that makes a family.”
Mr Hinton-Teoh said he hopes the ad will prompt Ms Gillard to evolve towards supporting marriage equality.
Ms Gillard opposed marriage equality as prime minister and she continues to oppose the reform.
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