Brisbane’s LGBTI Legal Service say they’ve collected over 220 examples of hate speech from throughout the same-sex marriage postal survey.
The service’s “Like Love” project is aimed at “addressing unlawful vilification” in Queensland and they’ve monitored social media, news websites and public spaces to track public statements that incite ridicule or hatred on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity.
“Unfortunately, throughout the Marriage Law Postal Survey it has been virtually impossible for anyone who identifies as queer to avoid exposure to views which condemn who they are as a person,” LGBTI Legal Service president Matilda Alexander said.
“The Postal Survey has opened the door to homophobia and vilification being expressed under the guise of legitimate debate.
“Instead of a legitimate debate, the LGBTI community has had to put up with weeks of destructive commentary which only takes society backwards on the progress which has lead to broader acceptance of LGBTI people in the last 30 years.”
The LGBTI Legal Service received submissions of hate speech from community members as well as using project workers to monitor spaces.
They’re now preparing a complaint to Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Commission, arguing the vilification seen during the postal survey is unlawful in the state.
The group said the hate speech ranged from individual posts on social media pages to neo-Nazi groups plastering posters in various public locations.
“If you live in Queensland and hear or see something in your neighbourhood, post box, or on social media that incites hatred on the basis of gender identity or sexuality, we advise you to record or screen capture it (including the date and time) and seek legal advice,” the group said.