“Stand up for them, put your arms around them,” Turnbull told 2Day FM radio in Sydney today.
Neo-Nazis have reportedly put up posters in Australian cities depicting a child cowering below two people brandishing rainbow belts, citing widely discredited research linking same-sex relationships to higher levels of abuse.
Turnbull said same-sex marriage isn’t a threat to marriage.
Instead, he nominated threats such as cruelty, neglect and abandonment.
He defended the vast majority of people who do not agree with same-sex marriage, insisting they are not homophobic.
“Don’t be distracted by a handful of extreme and unpleasant posters or flyers,” he said.
“Focus on the substance of the debate and if you give the people who are saying vote no … respect for their conservative view of marriage then they will give respect to your view.”
Because the postal marriage survey is being run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics it is not covered by many of the rules which normally govern election campaign material.
Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus says the government has to wear that.
“If this ridiculous postal survey goes ahead, we’re in for a whole range of bile and offensive material that’s going to be foisted on us and the government is responsible for it,” he told ABC radio.
As well, the Advertising Standards Board says it won’t consider complaints about ads relating to the poll because it considers them to be political advertising not covered by its ambit.
Labor senator Jenny McAllister, who is chairing an inquiry into the survey, says she’s already seeing “hateful” examples of campaign material that does not meet the standard of respectful debate.
She wants any concerned individuals or organisations to get in touch with the Senate finance and public administration committee at Parliament House to report any offensive, misleading or intimidating campaign material or behaviour.
Turnbull again insisted same-sex marriage will “sail” through the federal parliament should the postal survey be carried.
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