Australia’s most vulnerable brace themselves for more hate speech


For a year, now, I have dreaded this time in history.

I have dreaded the day our elected representatives would give licence to groups that intend on running nasty and damaging advertising campaigns.

Now the postal survey on same sex marriage has been mandated for November, the hounds have been unleashed.

Only time will tell just how sharp their teeth are.

I dread the state-sanctioned hate speech that ensues, I dread the impact it could have on a risk group that already suffers from significantly higher than average mental health problems.

I fear the ads set to creep onto our TV screens will compound tensions that already exist in too many Australian homes.

I know people in the LGBTI community who live in fear of the repercussions of coming out. They are reduced to tears at the thought of disgracing their families, at the thought of being disowned, at the thought of being treated differently to their siblings and peers. They are living on a knife’s edge, and the words they hear from their loved ones are particularly powerful.

It is little wonder that LGBTI people have the highest rates of suicidality of any population in Australia. Will groups like the Australian Christian Lobby bear this in mind in upcoming months? Going by the way the ACL speaks about same sex couples who have children, likening them to perpetrators of the stolen generation, I doubt the rhetoric will improve.

Seeing as this government has failed to protect the LGBTI community from groups like these, all we can do is ignore the hate speech, and hold our heads high knowing that it is not our sexual orientation that defines us, it is the way we demonstrate love.