A billboard which urged voters to put Labor last has been banned by the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) for breaching its code of ethics.
The ad, proposed by advocacy group Binary Australia, features a superimposed photo of Bill Shorten next to an image of a drag queen reading stories to children.
The campaign was created to challenge Shorten on whether he supports “drag queen story time”, which is a program to introduce children to the idea of gender fluidity.
The billboard also features a quote from opposition equality spokesman Louise Pratt saying: “Drag queen story time is a wonderful idea.”
Pratt made the comment to defend a Perth business last November after its owner’s experience backlash for having two drag queens read children’s stories at an event for LGBTQI+ families.
The event was inspired by the “Drag Queen Story Hour”, an event in the US which aims to teach children about the “gender fluidity of childhood”.
The OMA has since banned the proposed billboard for breaching its code of ethics.
Binary told The Australian OMA said the ad could not “portray people or depict material in a way which discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual preference, religion, disability, mental illness or political belief.”
Binary director Kirralie Smith said banning the ad violated freedom of speech and impeded public discussion about the issue before the federal election.
She told The Australian: “Labor has made their position very clear… they believe that a drag queen should teach your kids that their gender is fluid, that they can choose if they are a boy or girl.
“We are not able to even have the debate about whether or not this is a good idea during a federal election. And this a slap in the face to the parents of Australia.”
Labor has refused to clarify whether it would use taxpayer funds to promote programs like “drag queen story time” or whether such events should be voluntary.
It also would not answer whether groups opposed to gender fluidity should be allowed to take part in public discussion and campaign in favour of gender being defined as either male and female.
Smith added: “There are two critical issues here. First, Labor has made their position very clear — they believe that a Drag Queen should teach your kids that their gender is fluid, that they can choose if they are a boy or girl.
“Second, we are not able to even have the debate about whether or not this is a good idea during a federal election. And this a slap in the face to the parents of Australia.”
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