Gay rights supporters have rallied behind SBS for its decision to pull the plug on a TV ad attacking same-sex marriage.
The 43-second clip, produced by the Australian Marriage Forum (AMF), was due to go to air during SBS’s coverage of the 37th Sydney Mardi Gras.
However, it did get a run on both Channel 7 and Channel 9.
In the ad, viewers are urged to “think of the child” on the impact of same-sex marriage, with a parent saying: “You hear a lot about marriage equality, but what about equality for kids?”
AMF president Dr David van Gend adds in the clip: “Children have an equal right wherever possible to both a mum and dad.
“So-called marriage equality forces a child to miss out on a father. That’s not equality for the kids who miss out, that’s not marriage.”
Dr van Gend explained in an email to his supporters: “Our ad was booked and paid for to be shown during the SBS delayed broadcast of the parade – but our agent received this message from SBS management: ‘We choose not to run this TVC for the Marriage Forum during the Mardi Gras telecast.’
“No explanation,” said a rankled van Geld. “As I see it, this is a case of censorship by a public broadcaster of even the mildest expression of ‘unacceptable opinion’ on same-sex marriage.
“That is a disgrace.”
The fact that it wasn’t shown during the Mardi Gras coverage is clearly a blow to the lobby group, since the YouTube description shows it was produced specifically as a reaction to the annual LGBTI festival.
Since the ad was unveiled it’s been widely damned and discredited, and there’s even a change.org petition calling for its removal from any future air time.
Rodney Croome, of Australian Marriage Equality, said the ad was “actually harming the many Australian children being raised by same-sex couples because it defends discrimination against their families”.
Maya Newell, who was raised by two women in Sydney, told Same Same she was “deeply hurt” by the TV campaign.
“I’m a child of two lesbian mums who have been in a committed, loving relationship for over 30 years,” she said.
“What kids need are parents who provide love, security and support, not two parents of the opposite gender.
“Even though they haven’t been able to marry, same-sex couples have been raising children well for decades.
“I wish the Australian Marriage Forum would talk to the kids of same-sex couples before they decide to speak for us.”