Mainstream media has characterised the ‘NO’ campaign as a movement of “conservative bigots” who oppose legalising same-sex marriage solely on religious grounds (even though freedom of speech, expression, and parental rights have been repeatedly cited as grounds to oppose redefining marriage).
Seeing as how the media is way off on the ‘No’ campaign’s arguments, it is not surprising that their stereotype is also egregious.
Within the ‘No’ campaign are gay couples such as Ben Rogers and Mark Poidevin, who stand tribute to the fact that these stereotypes are attempts to marginalise the silent majority. While Rogers and Poidevin are in a steady same-sex relationship, both fully back the ‘NO’ campaign. In their interview with ABC News, Ben explained his reasoning behind this stance:
"It's not something I had ever envisioned."
Ben said while he respects that other couples might want to wed, he is committed to preserving traditional marriage.
"There's never been any discrimination with any of our families, or dramas coming our way because of our sexuality," he said.
"When I first came out I think one of the consequences was giving up marriage and children and things like that."
Far from making this decision based on ‘religion beliefs’ or ‘bigotry’, the couple states that their greatest concern is the long term effects which redefining marriage will have on Australia.
Both men also shared how they have received condemnatory responses for their views. Despite their clearly qualifying as members of the LGBTI community, both mainstream media and LGBTI groups have deemed their opinion ‘invalid,’ because it undermines the image that progressives are trying to paint the ‘NO’ campaign.
"The campaign's gotten nasty on both sides and I think the comments that I hear are, 'You're a homophobe if you don't support gay marriage,'" Mark said.
"I'm a gay person here that's coming out and saying, 'well, no it's not. It's your right to have a view, your right to have a view either way and people should be respected'.
"You're not intolerant if you don't support a view."
Despite mainstream outlets trying to keep the voice of the silent majority unheard, Mark Poidevin concludes that the postal vote will present a chance for the silent majority – and all Australians – to express their views:
"This could be the Brexit or Trump moment for Australia, where the polls are saying one thing but you go to the ballot box and people are clearly in another mind, going to vote another way.”
Although the ‘NO’ campaign is pigeonholed as a small group of religious zealots, cases like this demonstrate that the silent majority is comprised of many individuals – from both within and out of the LGBTI community. The ‘No’ campaign does not stand in defence of any anti-gay sentiments – it stands in defence of keeping the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.