Despite same sex marriage advocates now having achieved their goal they are still upset about the use of the postal survey. A public vote on same sex marriage was consistently opposed by advocates because they claimed a such a debate would be too hurtful to the LGBT community. Other unofficial reasons were they were scared they would lose a public vote and many did not want the conservative side of politics to claim credit for legislating same sex marriage.
A Senate committee has now published a report on the operation of the Marriage Law Postal Survey stating such a method of deciding public policy should never be used again. The committee was dominated by Labor and the Greens, the chair Labor Senator Jenny McAlister stated “A non-compulsory, non-binding postal survey has never been used previously to inform parliamentary processes on a matter of human rights for a minority group. It is the committee’s view that it should not be used in this way in the future”.
Delivering the report to the Senate Greens Senator Janet Rice stated “Having this public survey unleashed such an avalanche of hateful material”. The report also demanded more funding to LGBT mental health organisations as a way to repair the alleged damage caused by the postal survey.
Liberal Senators James Patterson and David Fawcett dissented from the report stating while they “acknowledge that there were instances of people disseminating offensive material, it is our view that in overwhelming numbers, Australians who participated in the debate did so in a courteous and respectful” and that “Public debate can be healthy, constructive and help the community come to terms with changes in social mores”.
The view that democracy should not apply to matters which are deemed to be about minority rights is probably why Labor is not proceeding with a referendum to have an indigenous voice to parliament and instead just wants to legislate such a body which in effect would hinder Australian democracy even further.
Despite the no campaign not distributing any material which claimed gays were ill or evil flyers and letters distributed and even simple no skywriting was deemed to have caused mental health issues. Some submissions to the Senate inquiry claimed some were too scared to leave their home because of such material being delivered to their mailbox.
It is quite extraordinary that three months after the results were announced, now having their desired equality and despite their overwhelming victory the LGBT lobby is still playing the victim.