A rather odd commercial that espouses children have no rights in same-sex marriage aired on the commercial stations last night, however, was pulled from the government broadcaster SBS just prior to Saturday night’s live telecast of the Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The ad is the work of the Australian Marriage Forum – a Christian lobby group – and pedals the message that kids are somehow harmed when they aren’t raised by a mother and a father. The ad is part of the Forum’s campaign opposing same-sex marriage and is called “Think of the Child”.
The ad features the Forum’s president, David van Gend, who is portrayed as a family doctor and has already been viewed 140,000 times on You Tube.
“So-called marriage equality forces a child to miss out on a mother or a father,” Dr van Gend says during the 43-second spot. “That’s not equality for the kids who miss out. That’s not marriage.”
A spokesperson for SBS was reported in the Fairfax presses this morning as saying the broadcaster had “the right to choose what ads we run”; adding, such an ad airing during the Mardi Gras was at odds with the annual parade’s message.
For his part, Dr van Gend said the pulling of the ad was a “suppression of free speech” and added it was a valid and contrary message to that of the Mardi Gras.
“It is outrageous for a taxpayer funded broadcaster like SBS to apply censorship to one side of the debate on same-sex marriage,” he was quoted as saying.
“SBS gives free airtime for them to make their political point on ‘marriage equality’, but refuses to show even one minute of a paid ad presenting an opposing view.”