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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM) and civil unions in Australia

Part 11:
2014-DEC to 2015-MAR: Hostage crisis in Sydney.
Anti-equality ad on commercial TV. Reactions.

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This is a continuation from a previous essay.

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Throughout this web site, "SSM" refers to marriages by same-sex couples.
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons and transsexuals.

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map of Australia 2014-DEC-16: The Sydney hostage crisis:

2014-DEC-16: The Sydney hostage crisis:

Many people around the world were riveted to their TV sets for most of 2014-DEC-16 as a mentally ill man held 17 customers of the Lindt Café hostage. Tori Johnson, 34, was the manager of the coffee shop. He charged the gunman and distracted him so that many hostages were able to escape uninjured. Tori tried to wrestle the rifle from the armed man but was injured during the attempt. He died later in hospital. His partner and family later issued a statement:

"We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori, gone from this earth but forever in our memories as the most amazing life partner, son and brother we could ever wish for." 1

Australian Prime Minister, the Honourable Tony Abbott and his wife Margie laid beautiful arrays of flowers at an massive informal makeshift memorial near the coffee shop. He referred to Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson who was also killed in the café as "good people." But the Prime Minister did not consider Tori good enough to be allowed to marry. Tori was gay as is Thomas Zinn, his partner of 14 years. Being of the same gender, they never were eligible to be married in Australia. 2

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2015-MAR-07: TV ad opposed to marriage equality was broadcast on commercial TV:

The Same Same web site describes themselves to have "Australia's #1 gay and lesbian lifestyle website." The site discussed an ad to be shown on commercial TV in Australia on Saturday, MAR-07.

Matt Akersten, writing for Same Same, said:

"A fear-mongering new Australian ad ... declares that allowing same-sex couples to marry will 'force a child to miss out on a mother or a father.'

'We hear a lot about marriage equality, but what about equality for kids?' says the ad, which is sponsored by the Australian Marriage Forum.

'Children have an equal right, whenever possible, to both a mum and a dad.'

The ad also shows Dr David van Gend, who is billed as a 'family doctor' but is actually the President of the Australian Marriage Forum.

'So-called marriage equality forces a child to miss out on a mother or a father,' he frets. 'That’s not equality for the kids who miss out. That’s not marriage'."

Rodney Croome, national director of Australian Marriage Equality said:

"I assume the launch of this campaign on the same day as the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is meant to be provocative, but actually it just highlights how out of place anti-gay prejudice is in our increasingly inclusive and respectful society. ..."

"If this campaign has any impact at all, its obvious prejudice and fear-mongering will actually increase support for marriage equality." 3

He also said:

"The Australian Marriage Forum campaign is actually harming the many Australian children being raised by same-sex couples because it defends discrimination against their families.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, tens of thousands of Australian children are currently in the care of same-sex couples, and these children deserve the same opportunities as other children, including the opportunity of having married parents." 4

Maya Newell, who was raised by two women in Sydney, said,

"As a child of two lesbian mums who have been in a committed, loving relationship for over 30 years I am deeply hurt by the Australian Marriage Forum TV campaign.

What kids need are parents who provide love, security and support, not two [necessarily] 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." 4

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a public broadcasting network refused to show the commercial. Channel Seven and the Nine Network aired the ad. 5

The TV ad is available on You Tube, where it received 1,487 likes and 12,333 dislikes within its first 18 days online:


Webmaster's comments:

Not mentioned in the TV ad is that same-sex couples will continue to raise children whether the goverment allows them to marry or not. But if same-sex couples are allowed to marry, then they and their children will receive all of the status, protections, and benefits that are associated marriage.

In addition, the Australian study of Child Health in Same Sex Families at Melbourne University found that such children:

  • Thrive equally well when compared to the rest of the population in self-esteem, emotional behavior, and the amount of time spent with parents.

  • Scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion -- a measure of how well family members get along.

Thus, it would seem that to deny these children's parents the right to marry does not harm them but rather deprives them of significant benefits.

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. James Peron, "Gay Hero of Sydney Hostage Crisis Died a Second Class Citizen," Huffington Post, 2014-DEC-16, at:
  2. "Abbott: Why was Sydney siege gunman not on terror list?," BBC, 2014-DEC-16, at:
  3. Matt Akersten, "Anti-marriage equality ad will be broadcast tonight."
  4. "New anti-marriage equality TV ad harms children." Australian Marriage Equality, 2015-MAR-07, at:
  5. "Morals at heart of change," The Advocate (Australia), 2015-MAR-10, at:
  6. "Marriage Equality? What about equality for kids?" Australian Marriage Forum, 2015-MAR-06, at:

Site navigation:

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > SSM menu > Australia > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage> SSM menu > Australia > here

Copyright © 2012014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2014-DEC-18
Latest update: 2015-MAR-24
Assembled by: B.A. Robinson

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