“… as a gay man that really grates with me.”
A gay Irish man was invited by the Coalition for Marriage in the Australian same-sex marriage plebiscite to assist at the launch of their No campaign, which has the slogan “It’s ok to say No”.
“If states redefine marriage, it redefines how you can speak, think, advocate and believe about marriage,” anti-marriage equality senator Cory Bernardi told 1,500 supporters of the No campaign at the Darling Harbour Theatre in Sydney’s International Convention Centre.
“That is the very real consequence of what is to come unless we win this battle.”
To back up his claim, Bernardi called Keith Mills, a Eurovision blogger and anti-gay marriage advocate, to the stage. Mills was a vocal supporter of Ireland’s No Campaign in 2015.
Mills alleged that language changed for the worse after Ireland overwhelmingly voted to legalise same-sex marriage.
“I always refer to a couple in a same-sex relationship as partners, as that’s how I see it,” he said. “But I’m told now I must refer to them as husband and husband, and wife and wife.”
“These attacks on free speech and those telling you what you can and can’t say, as a gay man that really grates with me,” he added.
Earlier this year, following the death of Minister Katherine Zappone’s wife, Ann Louse Gilligan, Mills tweeted: “Wife? I don’t think so.” He deleted the post after receiving much criticism, saying “I don’t usually delete tweets, but I accept that insensitive timing can often distort a perfectly legitimate opinion.”
Mills has been imported by the No campaign in Australia to speak at Coalition for Marriage events over the coming week.
Do you think that the change in language surrounding same-sex couples after the referendum constitutes an attack on free speech? Let us know in the comments below.
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