The first of the anti-marriage-equality ads is aimed at heterosexual mums of school-aged kids, like me. And, as a heterosexual mum of school-aged kids, I am deeply offended by it.
The ad shows three concerned-looking middle-class mothers talking to the camera, as ominous piano music plays in the background.
“School told my son he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it,” one mum says, aghast.
“Kids in Year Seven are being asked to role-play being in a same-sex relationship,” another adds in horror.
What the ad is trying to do is put fear into the minds of mothers. It’s trying to change the plebiscite question from, “Do you think everyone should be allowed to marry who they want?” to, “Do you want the gays to turn your child gay?”
Please. Gay people don’t even turn their own kids gay, let alone everyone else’s.
“In countries with gay marriage, parents have lost their rights to choose,” the ad declares.
Choose what, exactly? Choose for their child to only be exposed to heterosexual relationships, in a desperate attempt to keep that child heterosexual?
Mamamia fact checked the ad, you can read it here.
This ad offends me, but it also makes me feel sad. I feel sad that there are mothers out there who are scared at the thought of their son being allowed to wear a dress, or their high-school-age child being exposed to the idea of same-sex relationships.
The only reason mothers would feel this fear is if, deep down, they are genuinely terrified of their child being gay.
It’s sad, because some of those mothers will have children who are gay.
One of the realisations that hits you when you become a parent is that your child is their own person. You might have created them, but they are who they are. You can’t mould them into someone they’re not, and it would be wrong to try to.
You don’t have the right to choose your child’s sexuality. You can’t, anyway, any more than you can choose their eye colour.
The greatest thing a parent can do for a child is to love them for who they are, unconditionally.
LISTEN: Mamamia Out Loud has a message for Malcolm Turnbull (post continues after audio…)
I see the women in this ad, and they don’t represent me, or the mothers that I know. For me, it’s really important for my child to grow up in a community that is accepting of different sexualities, and to go to a school where all students feel safe and happy and accepted.
As a mum, I have my fears and worries, but my kids being gay isn’t one of them.
Mamamia is proud to support marriage equality and as such, will not republish the ‘No’ campaign’s ad, however, a copy can be viewed in full here.
Want more reasons to vote yes? Check out this.