1. First anti-gay marriage ad uses mothers to push the ‘no’ vote, labelled “disgraceful”.
Two prestigious Catholic schools have spoken out in defence of gay marriage, arguing the sacrament must evolve with the times, in the wake of the first 'no' advertisement airing on television on Tuesday night.
The advertising campaign, led by the Coalition of Marriage, claims "parents have lost their right to choose". It features Australian mothers telling the camera their "son could wear a dress next year if he felt like it" and that "kids in Year 7 are being asked to role play being a same-sex relationship".
The rectors of Melbourne's Xavier College and Sydney's Saint Ignatius' College, whose alumni include Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and former prime minister Tony Abbott respectively, have written to parents and staff arguing the Catholic Church's understanding of marriage stretches beyond procreation.
"In my experience, there is almost total unanimity amongst the young in favour of same-sex marriage, and arguments against it have almost no impact on them," Xavier College rector, Father Chris Middleton, wrote in the school newsletter.
Father Ross Jones of Saint Ignatius' College argues same-sex couples want to commit to each other for the same reasons as heterosexual couples, "by reflecting on experience and on what it is to be human, using their God-given reason".
Mr Shorten has told Fairfax Media the ad is "offensive and hurtful to LGBTI Australians and their families", AAP reports. And Equality Campaign executive director Tiernan Brady told News Corp Australia the "ad is disgraceful in its dishonesty".