While the same-sex marriage debate divides the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns, there are some matters on which both parties agree. One such matter: political correctness deeming non-related same-sex marriage messages as too “political”.
As absurd as this sounds, it is what happened to Dads4Kids, whose “controversial” ad did nothing more than celebrate the special role fathers have in their children’s lives:
This year’s commercial — featuring a father singing his baby a lullaby — will not be broadcast after Free TV Australia, representing the free-to-air commercial networks, informed not-for-profit group Dads4Kids that its Father’s Day ads “likely contained political matter”.
In its statement, Dads4Kids said the majority of free-to-air TV networks across Australia had “graciously run these ads for free as a community service announcement” for 15 years. “Unfortunately, what is a simple Father’s Day message has now become a ‘political’ statement,” the group said. “It is extraordinary that this is where we have come to as a country; we can no longer celebrate Father’s Day without being forced to look at it through the lens of the same-sex marriage debate.
“It’s a tragedy that a political motive is now implied in any mention of fatherhood ... Not everything is about same-sex marriage.”
Going even further, Free TV Australia gave Dads4Kids some legal suggestions:
The advice suggested the commercial be changed to include, for the first time, a political “authorisation tag” to adhere to conditions in the Broadcasting Services Act.
It also referred Dads4Kids to the guidelines issued by the Advertising Standards Bureau “in light of the same-sex marriage plebiscite” and which define political advertising as “comment upon a matter which is currently the subject of extensive political debate”.
The ridiculousness of the whole event has drawn the incredulity and criticism of both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ supporters:
Mr Wilson, who supports a Yes vote in the gay marriage survey, told The Weekend Australian he was surprised by the restrictions on the ad. “If the advice from Free TV’s lawyers requires political authorisation, it’s manifestly stupid,” Mr Wilson said.
“First, there’s no legal requirement for advertisements to have authorisation on the postal survey under current law. Second, advertisements celebrating fatherhood are not political and Father’s Day has nothing to do with whether same-sex couples should marry.
“There are fathers who will be recognised on Father’s Day that can and can’t get married. This is ridiculous advice that should be ignored.”
Liberal ACT Senator Zed Seselja, a defender of traditional marriage, said the need for authorisation was “insane”. “I think it’s a pretty concerning glimpse into the future where apparently promoting fatherhood is now a political act,” he said. “I am a father of five myself. I often post pictures of my kids on their birthday … is that now a political thing? Come off it.”
Such censorship affects both sides in the same-sex marriage debate. Only extremists advocate these actions – yet they have a way of making their views seem loud. Free TV Australia isn’t alone in their attack on parenthood:
Dr Red Ruby Scarlet is pushing for the annual day on the first Sunday in September to be renamed so children without fathers aren't offended.…Today Tonight host Rosanna Mangiarelli had asked why little kids needed to be social justice warriors.
However Dr Scarlet, who insisted that was her real name, said families without fathers weren't opposed to the idea. 'We have single parent families, satellite families, extended families, lesbian and gay families,' she said. 'There's a range of different communities across Australia.’
Dr Scarlet’s ridiculous push is exactly the type of censorship Australia will face if marriage is redefined:
New South Wales Liberal minister David Elliott, who hails from Sydney's Hills District, said 'rubbish' like this would only incite extremists.
'Can't believe that someone who professes to be 'enlightened' would advocate such crap',' he said. 'People still celebrate fatherhood even after their father and grandfathers have passed away, in fact for many people Father's Day is a wonderful time of reflecting and remembering.'
Dr Scarlet was not isolated in her advocacy for ‘Special Person’s Day,’ with supermarket giant Woolworths adding a ‘Special Person’s Day’ cake to its seasonal offerings for Fathers’ Day.
The impending same-sex marriage vote is far more than a simple legal vote – it is a referendum on free speech, freedom of religion and radical LGBTIQ sex education in schools. As the Dads4Kids ad shows, both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigners don’t support political correctness dictating Australian speech. Examples like this father’s day ad show why the ‘No’ vote is a vote for free speech. Voting ‘No’ means upholding free speech and equal rights for all Australians – both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ supporters.