FLYERS featuring photos of crying children with slogans such as “I need my mum and dad” are being distributed as part of a campaign against same-sex marriage.
The flyers have angered gay activist groups who are outraged that children are being used to spread homophobic views on the eve of the election.
However, the lobby group behind the flyers say they are designed to bring children’s rights into the same-sex marriage debate.
The flyers are circulating in electorates in Queensland, NSW and Victoria and urge people to vote against Liberal, Labor and Independent candidates who support gay marriage.
A flyer circulating in the Brisbane-based seat of Moreton urges constituents to vote against incumbent Labor MP Graham Perrett, who has said he’s a supporter of gay marriage.
The flyer says: “When gay and lesbian marriage is taught in kindy and school, children will be led to believe that kids have no right to a mum and dad”.
Parents who disagree are “bigots,” the flyer says.
National spokeswoman for Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Shelley Argent, says the flyers are discriminatory and insulting.
“The flyers suggest that it is bad for children to be raised by same-sex couples, which I believe breaches anti-discrimination law,” she said in a statement.
“Same-sex couples and their families deserve the same support and respect as other couples, not this kind of denigration.”
The Australian Family Association (AFA) helped design artwork for the flyers, but says individual members paid for them.
AFA national spokeswoman Terri Kelleher said the lobby group was concerned that children’s rights had been “ignored” in the gay marriage debate.
“It’s quite clear – it’s about children’s rights. It’s the children who are being overlooked in this whole debate about the redefinition of marriage,” she said.