UPDATED: Do you find this offensive?

UPDATE 2: Michael O’Brien and Anthony Gillespie will soon become the full-time foster parents of a nine-year-old boy. They cannot legally adopt and instead the pair said they’d chosen to change the life of a child without parents instead. The couple have begun bonding with the boy during visits and overnight stays and will soon take full custody. The boy will stay with them until he becomes an adult.

Mr O’Brien said:

Is this picture too sexual to be seen in public?

‘‘He is a beautiful, bubbly nine-year-old boy, he has been in care for a while,” he said.

‘‘He is going to be with us until he comes of age.’’

Mr O’Brien said the couple were hoping to marry and their son was hoping to be at their wedding.

“We decided to change the life of a child that needed rescuing, and we hope to formalise our family through marriage soon,” Michael said.

“I wear an engagement ring from Anthony, and I have told our son we will be getting married soon.

“My plea is that Julia Gillard won’t make me a liar.”

Mr O’Brien and Mr Gillespie first met their child two months ago through a foster care agency but have been going through the process to become foster parents since November last year.

According to Department of Child Safety, 8000 Queensland children are in need of foster care.

Diving into parenthood, Mr O’Brien said the couple were bracing for a ‘‘bumpy and rewarding ride’’.

‘‘I think we’re prepared as anyone can be when you’re going to become a parent,’’ he said.

UPDATE: Adshel has reversed its decision to ban the advertising campaign after what it said were ‘orchestrated complaints’ from the Australian Christian Lobby. The move came after a massive social media campaign, including on Mamamia, drew attention to the controversy. Here is Adshel’s official statement:

“Following ACL Queensland director Wendy Francis’ acknowledgement that the complaints received by Adshel, Brisbane City Council and the Advertising Standards Bureau regarding QAHC’s campaign have been orchestrated by the Australian Christian Lobby, Adshel is reinstating the ‘Rip and Roll’ campaign.

Adshel earlier responded to a series of complaints by removing the campaign from its media panels yesterday. None of the complaints indicated any liaison with the ACL, so Adshel was made to believe that they originated from individual members of the public.

Adshel CEO Steve McCarthy comments: “It has now become clear that Adshel has been the target of a coordinated ACL campaign. This has led us to review our decision to remove the campaign and wewill therefore reinstate the campaign with immediate effect.”

UPDATE: Adshel has released its official response to the uproar,  denying any dealings with the Australian Christian Lobby and stating that they have “not responded to any requests from this organisation.”

Note that it completely ignores that members of ACL and Wendy Francis have already admitted to complaining and, as to be expected, acts as if it has no say in the matter.


Is this picture too sexual to be in public?

Advertising company Adshel has caved in to pressure from the Australian Christian Lobby and removed a safe sex campaign which featured a fully clothed gay couple hugging, with one holding a closed condom packet. The ACL and Wendy Francis of the Family First party have condemned the ad as being not “appropriate for the general public.”

With more people being diagnosed with HIV than ever before, the ad had been designed by the Queensland Association of Healthy Communities to promote safe sex particularly in the gay community, running under the campaign slogan “Rip n Roll”.  Michael James, one half of the real life couple selected for the image, says he believed the picture showed only “love & tenderness, you can clearly see our engagement rings. We have been together for 6 and half years, we’ve been engaged since August last year and just last week we were approved to become foster parents, which will now be happening very soon, we are real people, with a real life, in real love.”

Wendy Francis, who recently was forced to back track on comments comparing same sex parents to child abusers, issued a statement saying: “They show two young homosexual men in some sort of act of foreplay” but Michael James says the removal of the ad is “blatant homophobia.”

Since yesterday a Facebook group protesting the move from Adshel has already attracted thousands but what’s your opinion on the image? Is it foreplay? What if the couple were straight?

You can read the complaints here and go to the Facebook page here to show your support. You can also contact Adshel directly.

Here’s a gallery of some ads from around the world that have been allowed to appear in public…