The marriage equality debate is now well and truly underway in Australia, but for every Facebook profile photo decal and report that shows that yes, the majority of the country does support same-sex marriage, comes an advertising campaign from the ‘No’ voters.
At best, these messages disregard what should be equal legal rights for thousands of Australians and at worst, they are misleading, misinformed and incredibly harmful to a countless number of people. So why do we keep on sharing the imagery that goes along with this rhetoric? God knows the ‘No’ campaign aren’t sharing ‘Yes’ posters and images and amplifying that message.
In a bid to voice our outrage and offer our support to the LGBTQI community, many of us have been quick to share stories, videos, statuses, and tweets about these ads and posters. Doing this makes us feel good; like we're being worthy allies. When we post about these things, we forget one thing: that posting about hate is just a reminder, for many, that hate exists.
Our intent is to fact check, and disprove claims, rationally tearing down the flimsy arguments and blanket statements made by the 'No' campaign. We write impassioned messages about how we can't believe this kind of vitriol can be given airtime and ask what message this is sending. And then we hit publish and send it out into the world. But were not thinking to take out the photo or video that had come to represent this latest push. We're not and what seeing that will do to someone else.
When looking on Facebook yesterday, photographs and video footage relating to the 'No' campaign's latest ad appeared in my newsfeed 23 times before I left the site.