UPDATE: Ads reinstated after support - check it out HERE
This week I will admit I am surprised. Why? Well a safe sex campaign being run by Healthy Communities here in Queensland has been removed due to a number of complaints by the Christian Lobby.
As you will see from the poster, it displays a gay couple and a strong message about using a condom. It’s targeted towards prevention of HIV. The strange thing is I pass a billboard with this poster on it quite regularly and my impressions were completely different (maybe understandably) to what is now being said.
When I saw this ad, I never once thought anything about it being a gay couple. I just saw a good message. I thought the poster was tasteful and not sexual in nature and it came with a great tag line of “Rip N Roll” I never even considered the fact it had a gay couple on it. In retrospect now that it has been drawn to my attention that it is I still don’t see anything wrong with it. I wouldn’t have minded who the couple was on the noticeboard whether it be gay or straight. I just think it’s a representation of the fact that not everyone is straight.
The arguments being spread and the complaints that were received in part state they don’t want any ads about sexual matters used because children may see it. Well this is a naive thing to say. Kids know about sex and this stuff at a very young age. I didn’t think there was anything inappropriate in this.
However if you look at the complaints received you will see that the issue of sexuality comes up constantly. Not surprisingly most of the complaints are identical showing this was a targeted campaign. Showing a gay couple on advertising isn’t that uncommon in this day and age and for me there should be more of it. Not because of any other reason then it shows the world that there are a variety of people in this world. That’s why commercials show a variety of ethnic groups.
The Christian Lobby Director Wendy Francis made the statement she objected to the sexual nature of the ads, not the fact the couple pictured were gay. Ms Francis was last year forced to apologise publicly after a Tweet likening gay marriage to legalising child abuse. Her argument is week. There is nothing particularly sexual in nature about the image and now she tries to use an excuse for attacking gay people. I doubt very much she would have done the same thing if it was a straight couple. It’s a stretch in my mind that she believes this billboard is showing “Foreplay”. If that’s what she thinks foreplay is about than she really needs to look again.
Looking at the poll at the bottom of the new article at the time I wrote this blog post 84% of respondents agreed “It’s a great ad and should have been kept”. It really is a shame that the ACL has got away with this and that once again this country has failed to show it can be a progressive leader in showing it’s open mindedness.
I really do love my country but get so disappointed at crap like this. I remember growing up being taught that Australia is the best country in the world and is a country that is laid back and accepts everyone. This is also a view that people overseas had. It appears more and more that we have a country where our leaders are bigots and bow to those who can pay them the most money. After all, every poll shows that the majority of the country support equality for the gay population and marriage equality.