Earlier this week, posters went up throughout Melbourne, Australia about the plebiscite.
The posters read:
92% of children raised by Gay Parents are abused
51% have depression
72% are obese
STOP THE FAGS
As we pointed out yesterday, their statistics are suspect. The study cited does indeed give those statistics, but the methodology was deeply flawed.
At the time of the original piece, we didn’t know who had put up the posters. We’ve since found out that the American group Ironmarch.org is responsible. We’re not directly linking the organization, however, because it’s a neo-Nazi forum.
The site even brags that it was “dubbed the Nazi Facebook” and an “international network that promotes race war” by media outlets. The site is littered with swastikas, slurs and calls for “race war now.”
Despite the fact that the posters are inaccurate, include a anti-gay slur in large type and were made by neo-Nazis, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused to ban the posters. In an interview on Melbourne radio station 2DayFM, Turnbull said the signs were “hurtful” but were part of the political process. He said:
“People will often say in any democratic debate, they’ll often say things that are hurtful and unfair and sometimes cruel, that is part of a debate. The only way to stop people saying things that you find hurtful is to shut down free speech.”
Melbourne is in the state of Victoria. While Australia does have hate speech laws, Victoria’s laws include a concession for freedom of expression. The law says it’s not broken if the accused can establish that their conduct was “engaged in reasonably and in good faith” as part of an “artistic work” or “discussion or debate.”
Since the original posting, a new “Stop the Fags” poster has gone up, citing CDC statistics.
Turnbull said of the posters:
“Our society, the most successful multicultural society in the world is built on a foundation of mutual respect. I deplore disrespectful abusive language, whether it is directed at young gay people or people of other religions or people of other races. Mutual respect and a respectful debate is what we should have in Australia.”
But should that respect extend to neo-Nazis? No.
Photo by Sgt. First Class Clydell Kinchen/Department of Defense.