Australia Enacts Emergency Hate Speech Law Due To Anti-LGBT Vitriol Spawned By Marriage Plebiscite

Reuters reports:

The alarming volume of hate-speech during Australia’s ballot over whether to legalize same-sex marriage spurred parliament to pass emergency legislation on Wednesday to outlaw opponents spewing their vitriol while the vote was in progress.

Australia began a non-compulsory postal vote on Tuesday that will determine whether it becomes the 25th country to legalize same-sex marriage. But with an emotionally charged campaign raising concerns about the welfare of vulnerable Australians, the government moved to strengthen laws preventing hate-speech. The opposition Labor Party supported the amendment, though it had rejected the need for a ballot on the issue.

Until voting ends on November 7, anyone found guilty of intimidation, or threats to cause harm on the basis of the sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status – that is people who believe themselves to be neither male or female – or the religious convictions of someone will be liable to fines of A$12,500 (over $10,000) and a court injunction.

More from the BBC:

The legislation was introduced because the survey is not covered by the usual safeguards governing elections in Australia. “We want this process to be fair and for Australians to get the opportunity to have their say in an appropriate environment,” Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said.

More than 16 million Australians are eligible for the survey, which asks one question: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” People have until 7 November to cast their vote by mail with the results expected on 15 November. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said parliament will debate changing the law if it is supported by a majority of Australians.

  • Sam_Handwich

    the government created this mess themselves with their stupid non-binding poll. this could have been over long ago.

    • David L. Caster

      Indeed, the whole debacle is a product of political cowardice.

      • customartist

        Politicians = Cowards

        • (((GC)))

          I still think there’s lots of truth in the pseudoetymology that “politics” comes from “poly-“, many + “ticks”, little bloodsucking parasites.

    • Blake Jordan

      All over a non-binding vote…

      Either the NO will win, and Turnbull, et. al. will feel vindicated about the bullshit vote, or the YES will win, and Turnbull will still stall…
      Either outcome and LGBTQ+s will still be to a degree deeply harmed!!!

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  • PickyPecker
    • Joseph Miceli

      Ha! Sure, and I’m Haley Mills in drag.

    • Todd20036

      I’ve yet to see Christians love anything outside of their world view.

      • Mark McGovern

        There are lots of them. There are lots of LGBT Christians.

        • MCC churches are packed. We have to acknowledge that there are “lots of LGBT Christians.” I think Gandhi said something like, “I love your Jesus but not yourChristianity.”

          • Mark McGovern

            Yes, that makes sense. A lot of people on this site are absolutely anti-religion. I myself do not practice any religion, and can certainly see how many may feel the bad often outweighs the evident good; especially with LGBT who have been so hurt by religion. That said, I still feel bad that there are many LGBTQ who might otherwise participate in this fantastic website, but who would feel unwelcome simply because they practice a religion. The discussion is notably devoid of their contributions.

          • CottonBlimp

            That said, I still feel bad that there are many LGBTQ who might otherwise participate in this fantastic website, but who would feel unwelcome simply because they practice a religion.

            You could say the same thing about homocons, who are typically referred to as quislings and traitors sucking up to the people who cause them harm. And yet, the Republican party has murdered way less queers than religion has.

          • Mark McGovern

            Yeah I get your point. However, part of my point is that we dis-invite their perspective, and then really have no idea of who they are or what they believe. We know what homocons believe because they publish. With respect to your closing statement, it is my view the Republican Party IS the political wing of American religion. They are (currently) indistinguishable. Am I wrong?

          • CottonBlimp

            However, part of my point is that we dis-invite their perspective, and then really have no idea of who they are or what they believe.

            I think that perspective is way overemphasized in American culture, enough that I’m happy there are places like this blog where it’s not given the excessive coddling and congratulation we’re used to seeing it get everywhere else.

          • Mark McGovern

            LOL, for one thing well I can’t foresee any such coddling or congratulations happening on this blog, but I see your point. What I am uncomfortable with is the isolation of fellow LGBT and straight allies. It’s not all just about us here in America and Canada. Religion has a huge, and far more profound impact on LGBT abroad. Like jail and killing impact. Unless we are prepared to say that we can effectively challenge those institutions strictly from a secular perspective, then we have to enlist empathetic religious organizations. This site, as much as I love it, fails to come to terms with how it treats religion in its comments section.

          • CottonBlimp

            Unless we are prepared to say that we can effectively challenge those institutions strictly from a secular perspective, then we have to enlist empathetic religious organizations.

            You’re free to do so. Personally, I think that having to suck up to religious orgs for our rights is a huge part of the problem in the first place. So while I can see the benefit to reaching out to the religious, we also *need* to have critical conversations about faith, to embolden the non religious, to influence people who might grow out of their faith, and to discourage the religious from the delusion that their beliefs are sensible enough to be the basis of law.

          • Mark McGovern

            I get what you’re saying, but don’t see a road forward on that basis. 84% of the world’s population has a faith. While we may see holding ground, and some might argue our principles, as necessary, there are those in other countries that will pay a far higher price at the hands of religions if cannot somehow move forward with the religion issue; not to mention there are a lot of LGBT religious who are not conservative.

          • CottonBlimp

            You know, I seem to have this exact same conversation a lot, and what irks is me is the feeling that while I’m suggesting improving the world takes a multipronged approach, the common response is that those of us with legitimate criticisms of religion just need to STFU.

            I’m sorry, but I remember what it’s like to be a powerless kid and to know that religious is utter bullshit, but to be threatened and coerced and manipulated into pretending otherwise. There are kids all across the world going through that, in liberal churches AND conservative ones. What they need is to hear is that the lies about hell and sin and God watching and judging them really are just lies, and that needs to be shouted as loudly as possible so the sound can pierce the ideological bubble religious communities build around themselves. What they need are places like this blog where they can escape that oppressive religion and vent and be comforted that they’re not crazy, that other people can see how horrible and stupid this shit really is, and I am most certainly NEVER going to gaslight those children and tell them the horrendous evil stupidity that’s obvious to them isn’t there. I’m not going to join in othering and isolating those kids and telling them to shut up and suffer in silence.

          • Mark McGovern

            I can’t disagree with a thing you said. I just can’t see a way forward without a truce. I’m not trying to change your opinion on the matter, as it is clearly not going to change, and I respect that. That said, the support of religious organizations as allies is, in my view (and I could be wrong) critical in third world countries where gay people are rooted out and massacred. I suppose it’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t circumstance. Personally, I would ally with religion if it had potential to prevent other religion from lynching gay kids.

          • CottonBlimp

            The truce is that while they’re allowed to circlejerk in their churches around a book that calls us idiots worthy of torture and damnation, we’re allowed to vent on this website about them.

            I’m happy to work with any religious person on any issue we agree on, but they’ve no right to leverage their aid to silence our beliefs.

          • Barbara McNeill

            Gandhi was a hypocritical, racist prick who ill-treated his wife and shifted his politics when it suited him.

          • JCF

            Um, Mohandas Gandhi was a human being. His sins don’t negate his amazing accomplishments.

    • GayOldLady

      Every time they brandish their hatred toward us that song comes to mind. “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
      Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love”. There’s definitely no Christ in the majority of Christians i know.

      • JCF

        I’m guessing you know mainly Christianists. 🙁

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Well, their love hurts like hell and they know it.

      That’s why they all got around the idea of ” Tough Love ” no matter the situation.

    • Fritz Keppler

      Love is the most deceitful mask that hate wears.

      • Jonathan Smith

        no. it is not. any sentence begining with “I love you, But…..” is automatically thrown in the trash

      • Barbara McNeill

        Every time someone approaches you with bags of love to give away, you can bet there is a very heavy price to pay.

    • Adam Stevens

      I know its easy to blame ‘christians,’ but it isn’t really a fair judgment. LGBT people experience bigotry and hatred from EVERYONE. From ALL religions, and even from NON-belivievers.

      It is easy to call this a religious problem, but it isn’t. It’s a heterosexual one. religion is just the tool they use to ease their consciences.

      • It’s just that so-called “Christians” are in the forefront of public anti-gay and anti-trans hate speech. That’s how they make their money.

      • StraightGrandmother

        rmthunter is right. Where is the organization and money coming from to opposes equal civil rights for sexual minorities? It’s religiously lead and funded. Catholic Knights of Columbus, I read how much they contributed in Australia but I forget the amount, but it was high. Just like when the Knights of Columbus here gave NOM over a million bucks.

      • CottonBlimp

        That’s utter bullshit. Christianity is *the* singular reason for homophobia in entire continents that were relatively accepting of homosexuality before Christian missionaries fucked them up. And that’s because *the* mechanism of control of Christianity for two thousand years has been scapegoating and genocide.

        And I’m fucking sorry, but anyone who jumps into an ocean of blood that deep and wide has blood on them too.

    • Rex

      “Hate the sin, but love the sinner.”
      Hearing that makes my skin crawl,

      • Todd20036

        Especially since I love the sin.
        Actually, if you hate the sin, you hate the sinner, because the idea of sin is based on, for instance, that homosexuality is merely a sexual activity, and not a way of life, a way of being, a way of loving.

      • Barbara McNeill

        A quote from Mahatma Gandhi.

        • JCF

          Gandhi wasn’t a Christianist (the quote lacks that Christianist context). What’s your deal, Barbara, anyway? Aren’t there those more deserving of your vitriol than Gandhi?

    • Clive Johnson

      The love of the Bible thump.
      The love of being kicked out of their churches.
      The love of being targeted for violence.
      The love of the mote-preserving lecture about sin.
      The love that drools over the prospect of eternal punishment.
      The love that selectively quotes the scriptures.
      The love that loves to hate.
      The love that hates to love.
      The love that holds a new set of nails and a hammer.

      That kind of Christian love.

      • JCF

        -ist.

    • BudClark

      Like SHITE they will!!!

    • JCF

      -ists.

  • Karl Dubhe

    It’s a good thing they’re in Australia. If these idiots pulled a stunt like this in Canada, they’d be arrested for inciting hatred against an identifiable group.

    The world should send them ‘thanks’ for demonstrating why you don’t put issues like this to a popular vote. As sarcastically as possible.

    • Jonathan Smith
    • bambinoitaliano

      Reminds me of 1996, many of us were giving hell to then PM Jean Chretien for allowing a free vote on Bill C-33 in the parliament. The bill add sexual orientation into the Canadian Human Rights Act. I received a letter from the PM office for reminding me of the party “accomplishment” of what should be the government stance that require no debate what so ever. Bloody coward was afraid of ruffling too many feathers in a coming election.

  • Jonathan Smith
  • Mark Née Fuzz

    In the meantime, here in the good old USA, asshole Kid Rock spoke out against transgender rights at his first concert in the new, newly-opened Little Caesars hockey arena. What was management thinking booking that talent-less shit stain?

    • Todd20036

      I think the EOs of Little Caesars are Trumptards. I believe Little Goat Rock’s views matches theirs.

    • Gerry Fisher

      I’d like to sit Kid Rock down with a handful of trans guys who look like Buck Angel and ask him if he thinks they should use the women’s room. Take a video. Distribute widely.

    • Kruhn

      Some asswipe near University of Maryland Baltimore County had a Kid Rock for Senate lawn sign.

  • Bluto

    Fuck you turnbull. Fuck you, fuck you, FUCK YOU!

    • Kruhn

      I guess you really don’t like Turnbull. /s

      • Bluto

        It’s obvious?

  • Acronym Jim

    “intersex status – that is people who believe themselves to be neither male or female…”

    I appreciate the legislature trying to quash hate speech, but I wish they had educated themselves before drafting that particular clause. Believing oneself to be neither male nor female, or personal belief in general, has nothing to do with being intersex.

    • Ernest Endevor

      They also stuck in ‘religious beliefs’.

      • Acronym Jim

        Yep, I saw that…only they called it “religious convictions” which has a stronger connotation than belief. I suspect both of those clauses were stuck in there to appease the legislators on the far right. The fact that their description of a well-known biological medical condition is so far wrong just makes the whole legislative body look like idiots.

        There’s also the fact that there is no mention of protections for transgender people, unless that’s what they were trying to cover with their garbled, wholly inaccurate definition of intersex people.

        • Ernest Endevor

          Couldn’t agree more.

        • Friday

          Well, that’s the ‘Gender Identity’ bit.

    • Blake Jordan

      The fact they had to include religious protections in this emergency bill, even though there are probably existing laws to protect religious people anyway, shows you their consideration on the matter was not “deep”.

  • ETownCanuck

    The Christians and the nutters are being assholes to the gays? I’m completely shocked. If only there were some way to know that this would happen, some historical precedents they could have studied….

  • j.martindale

    Isn’t it odd how invested these hateful people are in lives that have no effect on them.

    • bambinoitaliano

      That’s because they don’t have one. It’s like leeches who lives on the hosts demanding the right to dictate their benefactors.

    • Blake Jordan

      Like country clubs, and other institutions, etctera a lot of the appeal to the members is who is excluded…

      • David Walker

        Groucho Marx: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”

      • ColdCountry

        Yup. I am so grateful that my parents were not like that, so that I’m not, and so that I can still look up to their memories. About a half century ago, my dad joined the local Lions Club. He wasn’t a joiner, but as a small business owner, he felt it was a good move. He only belonged for about a year. When they refused to rent their hall for a wedding reception because the best man was black, my father was outta there.

    • They are all about saving others who sin -no mention of their sins.

    • CottonBlimp

      Hatred is a powerful motivator, and a tool for keeping people in line. If not for hatred, of Jews, of queers, of women, of other races, there would be no Christianity.

    • Barbara McNeill

      They’re probably envious because gays are usually more intelligent, better looking, have sharper dress sense and throw wonderful parties.

  • Statistics Palin

    Fuck you Margaret Court.

    • greenmanTN

      Not even with Tony Abbot’s dick.

      • Statistics Palin

        How about with Court’s broomstick?

        • greenmanTN

          Word to the wise: Don’t sniff the racket grip.

  • Do Something Nice

    So they allowed the venom for weeks and then passed a law?

    • Paula

      One of those things that make you go hmm.

      • robindaybird

        bet you it’s only because a good chunk of it is from American bigots meddling – bit of a ‘fuck off, let our homegrown bigots to the job’

  • Nax

    “Australia began a non-compulsory postal vote on Tuesday that will determine whether it becomes the 25th country to legalize same-sex marriage.”

    From what I’ve read, it doesn’t determine anything. Is there some sort of guarantee that if the expensive mail-in opinion poll favors same sex marriage, there will be?

    • Silver Badger

      No guaranty. This is a carefully orchestrated method to give the haters a stage. Now, they can claim persecution too.

      • Reality.Bites

        What this is, is what happens when a conservative government is forced to deal with the sort of issue that progressive governments usually handle.

        There was a similar experience in Ontario when a court ruling in the 90s forced a conservative government to recognize same-sex partners in the same way opposite-sex couples were. Rather than allow the term spouse to be used (it was already in use for unmarried opposite-sex couples), they amended hundreds of references to say “spouse or same-sex partner.”

        It’s doing it as gracelessly and offensively as possible.

        (And yes, a later government went back and amended everything to remove all references to opposite and same sex)

    • barrixines

      This write-in has no more merit than asking Aussies to write in about which colour Turnbull should paint his guest bedroom. It’s just over a hundred million dollars being spent to let religious curtain twitchers harrumph on the public dime.

    • Halou

      “non-compulsory” only if the vote is a majority yes to gay marriage.
      Should the majority vote no then it will be the ‘indisputable will of the Australian people’, the truest expression of democracy, and most importantly it will be irreversible now and for all time.

  • MBear

    Lets see: the bible says to kill people. Hate speech. Lock them up

  • Rex

    I’m still uncomfortable for civil rights and equality being put up to a vote.

    • Ross

      As all decent people should be.

    • John Ruff

      No shit

    • JCF

      Yeah Rex, but check the REALITY: the electoral VICTORIES of marriage equality in (IIRC) 5 states in 2012, paved the way for SCOTUS to find for Windsor in 2013, and Obergefell in 2015. It’s not hypocritical to wish our rights weren’t up for a vote, and FIGHT LIKE HELL TO WIN when they are!

  • Tawreos

    The christians will now scream about persecution and get out the no votes that their hateful bullshit couldn’t.

  • 5moreminutes*imtired

    I believe hate speech was one of the main reasons against having the plebiscite. It sucks that were always right…

  • Ninja0980

    And this is why you don’t put the rights of a minority group up for a public vote.

    • Ross

      I think we should reverse things.

      Let the minority decide the rights of the majority.

      It will be interesting to se how that goes!

  • Halou

    I was under the impression that laws already existed for such things. But because the vote is, at the insistence of the bigots, being managed by the Bureau of Statistics it is not regarded as a political campaign the standard laws do not apply.

  • Clive Johnson

    I’m just sitting here shaking my head at the appalling level of ignorance and hatred going on. I have few illusions about the world we live in or the slow progress that has been made, but damn.

  • leon schmitt

    Some asswipe near University of Maryland Baltimore County had a Kid Rock for Senate lawn sign. Wanted to go Hulk Smash on that place.

  • chris james

    Don’t know how this mail in survey is working, but you can bet there are thousands sitting in church basements writing letters against the LBGT initiative. Feel the love yet?

  • another_steve

    Civilized nations do not regulate thought or speech. They regulate/punish overt incitement to violence (“Go out and kill queers”) but not thought or speech (“God says queers are deserving of death”).

    Reference: “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” George Orwell, 1949.

    • John Ruff

      Terrorism is terrorism.

      • another_steve

        Well, the United States Supreme Court has a more nuanced take on it than that, John. It has ruled, for example, that Nazis have the right to march and speak, provided there’s no overt incitement to violence.

        Obviously, other nations view the issue differently.

        • colly

          Well look at what happened to America now. It’s downfall is happening right infront of the world. Kinda sad to see America goes.

          • another_steve

            America’s downfall isn’t imminent. I’m confident we’ll emerge from the current horror a stronger and better nation.

            Birthing is a difficult, messy process.

        • John Ruff

          They’re also wrong

    • Reality.Bites

      Americans should have the fucking brains to realize they are in absolutely no position to lecture any of the DEMOCRACIES on how things should work to ensure the liberties of their citizens.

      Really, fuck off you fatuous asshole.

      • Tempus Fuggit

        I can’t see what another_steve said, which is both for the best and deliberate—I don’t argue with shit; I flush (i.e., block) it.

  • Blake Jordan

    I worry about the increase of “gay bashing” and (attempted) suicides by LGBTQ+ youth the hatred of the NO campaign will cause!!!

  • TJay229

    I loved Australia.

    Oxford Street and Darlinghurst were so much fun.

  • FormerMainer

    I appreciate the intent, but am very uncomfortable with the idea of a government banning speech – whatever the reason.

    Yes, it sucks to hear this, but let’s not throw out more important values.

    • John Ruff

      Well, you’re wrong.

      • FormerMainer

        Of course my opinion is wrong. I assume you are the only one with the right opinion?

        • I have often told my high school students, “Yes, you can have an opinion, but back it up with facts and we sure, to give the other side of the argument.”

          • FormerMainer

            That advice is much needed today!!!

          • Tempus Fuggit

            Starting with you.

        • John Ruff

          Uh huh

    • Tempus Fuggit

      Ding! Right on cue, here comes the reflexive kneejerking about FREESPEEEEEEEECH!!!1!!!1!!!!!111!!!

      A fair good number of countries seem to have thoughtful, grownup, informed, practical understanding of what free speech
      means (and doesn’t); there is an appropriate focus on not only the
      right but its attendant responsibilities and consequences. The USA is
      not on that list; the babyish, thoughtless, shallow American idea is “Anyone can say whatever they want becuz FREESPEECH!!!!!11!!!!11!!!”. It’s used as a bludgeon to shut down important conversations about things like necessary limits to tolerance, which is gross misuse of what should be a powerful tool
      of societal health and growth. It’s especially grotesque when Americans—who usually don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about—tsk-tsk about other countries’ approaches to freedom of expression.

      More broadly: it is fascinating, in a horrifying kind of way, to look at the many severe restrictions on speech Americans eagerly promulgate and enforce, all while thumping their chests and crowing selfgratulatory bilge about how American freespeech is the bestest freespeech in the whole wide world. It’s a
      kind of cognitive dissonance that involves calling these constraints
      something (anything) other than restrictions on speech. Hell no, that’s
      not censorship, we don’t have crnsorship in the United States! That’s a
      matter of patriotism. A matter of national security. A matter of freedom. That’s just common sense. It’s just being polite. That’s a matter of decency, a matter of community standards, a matter of thinking of the children.

      • FormerMainer

        “Ding! Right on cue, here comes the reflexive kneejerking about FREESPEEEEEEEECH!!!1!!!1!!!!!111!!!”

        – I see this will be a thoughtful conversation.

        “It’s used as a bludgeon to shut down important conversations about things like necessary limits to tolerance, which is gross misuse of what should be a powerful tool
        of societal health and growth.”

        – I’m already lost. Are you suggesting that not restricting speech is somehow restricting speech and conversations? What are people not allowed to discussed due to free speech?

        As for the remainder of the comment, I have no idea what you are talking about. Perhaps a reset is in order? For example, why do you (apparently) disagree with my comment?

        • Tempus Fuggit

          > I see this will be a thoughtful conversation

          You reap what you sow.

          > I’m already lost

          Evidently. Also, you’ve already lost.

          > I have no idea what you are talking about

          Shush and run along; the grownups are talking.

          • FormerMainer

            As expected…

          • Tempus Fuggit

            Thank you, I guess, for that apt but unfortunate demonstration of most every one of those points of mine that you seem to have no idea about.

  • John Ruff

    What did they think was going to happen? If they didn’t think this disgusting process was not going to terrorize and traumatize the LGBTQ community, they’re lying.

  • -M-

    Gee, if only there were some way this problem could have been foreseen. /s

  • customartist

    So the Majority dictates the rights of Minorities.
    Gee, I wonder how this will go?

  • Ben in Oakland

    Now who could have predicted this, apart from anyone with a brain?

  • StraightGrandmother

    [snip] guilty of intimidation [snip] or the religious convictions of someone will be liable to fines of A$12,500 (over $10,000) and a court injunction.

    Interesting though that they throw in protections based on your religion, isn’t it? I guess that means that we outside Australia will have to knock down those objections based on religious beliefs then. I’ll have to run over and find what I can find on Australian websites and offer commentary. I’m not going to threaten anybody but I am not going to take sh*t either.

  • Dana Chilton

    That’s not what intersex is

  • JWC

    Just pass the damn thing

  • Paul

    At the rate Australia is dragging their feet, Saudi Arabia will have marriage equality before the Aussies do.

  • Ken Berry

    We ALL knew this would happen. The troglodytes lurk among us. I never forget that the beautiful seaside park where I walk our dogs is also where gay men were thrown from the cliffs back in the ’80s.

  • Smarterthanyou11

    you shouldn’t be allowed to label the opposition’s voice as hateful and outlaw their opinion