How the ‘Yes’ campaign secured your number for an SMS

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Across the weekend, millions of Australians received text messages calling on them to vote ‘Yes’ in the marriage equality survey, with many questioning how their numbers were obtained.

People started receiving text messages on their mobile phones from YesEquality, which stated: “The Marriage Equality Survey forms have arrived! Help make history and vote YES for a fairer Australia. VoteYes.org.au.”

The reaction on social media was swift, with many people asking how the YesEquality campaign had obtained their mobile phone numbers, especially if they were on the Do Not Call register. Others have questioned the ethics of being contacted in this manner.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Clint McGilvray explained that the texts were sent out to random computer-generated numbers.

The technology used by the Yes campaign has been used by political parties sending text messages in the past and it doesn’t mean that any organisation knows your phone number and who you are.

There are also exemptions on the Do Not Call register for a variety of political parties and organisations.

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, some public interest organisations are still allowed to make specific types of telemarketing calls even if a person is on the Do Not Call register.

Exemptions apply to:

  • registered charities
  • educational institutions
  • government bodies
  • registered political parties
  • independent members of parliament
  • political candidates.

Did you receive a ‘Yes’ campaign text messages? Were you worried about your privacy? Do you think this is an effective campaign tool?

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Written by Ben

346 Comments

Total Comments: 346
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    I received the message on my mobile and whether I am a supporter or not of the yes campaign, this method of promoting the yes vote should not be used. A check of the source revealed that the number where the message was coming from was not transmitted therefore I could not block further text messages from this source.

  2. 0
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    Did not appreciate getting the txt , this should not have happened .

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    Well, they have lost my support and respect. Nobody is able to change the mind of those who think critically and I´m one of those. It seems their aim is to convert everybody to homosexuality. One, two or a number of adult people can do whatever they like among themselves, as far I´m concerned. But trying to get legally married is not going to change what they are: DIFERENT, THEREFORE NOT EQUALITY IS GOING TO MAKE THEM EQUAL. Just live your life without interfering into other´s, don’t try to twist the mind of those still young and immature.

    .

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      Come on Nena … they never had either your ‘support’ or ‘respect’. At least be truthful.

      By the way, you don’t have to become a ‘gay’. That’d like … well like … you asking a ‘gay’ to be straight.

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      The aim of the changes is NOT to convert people. At the moment, if two gay people live together and one of them dies, their partner has no legal right to inherit their estate. Even if a will is made, the family can legally contest that will and the partner will get nothing. The changes are to give gay people the same legal rights as straight people. They’re not out to convert people and not out to change marriage. All they want are the same legal rights as everyone else.

      For the record, I did get that text and my number is on the Do Not Call Register. Yes I was pissed off that I received that text, BUT like any logical thinking person, it did not sway me to change my vote. I had already decided how to vote beforehand. I believe the text was ill-conceived and shouldn’t have been done

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      ….et tu quoque Brute fili mi!

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      “Alky” You said that
      “The moment, if two gay people live together and one of them dies, their partner has no legal right to in Herret there are state. Even if will is made, the family can legally contest that will and apartment will get nothing.”

      The same thing applies with straight people who have made a will, their family can also contest a legally made will.

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      Alky, I’m afraid you are wrong about this being about giving gay people the same legal rights as straight people. They already have that by legislation passed previously. Gay people DO have the same right to inherit their partner’s estate as straight people. If you are thinking of the case of the gay couple living in the retirement village that would have been exactly the same for an heterosexual couple as the partner’s name was not on the lease. It had NOTHING to do with their sexuality. As far as contesting a will goes, anyone can contest a will if they believe that they have been unfairly treated by the deceased and then it will be up to the courts to decide. This is about wanting what someone else has and trying to change that so that they can be normal and equal. It’s not anything to do with equal legal rights! I don’t understand why they can’t just get their own word and leave marriage as it stands alone. Why do we have to impact a large majority for the benefit of a small selfish minority who don’t care about people’s religious beliefs or other attitudes.

      Just for clarification, I am not a religious person nor am I an HOMOPHOBE but I do believe in traditional marriage. I do support gays in having all of the same legal rights as any defacto couple but I don’t understand why they can’t have their own term and ceremony. I DO NOT believe that it has got anything to do with ‘equal rights’.

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      Bravo, Nena!

    • 0
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      Brutus autem iste homo filium tuum?! Id est Romanam te.

    • 0
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      Bravo Nena ?

      Poor dear is afraid she may get converted !!!!!

      Oh dear

    • 0
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      What’s with the latin? Are we to think you are of the highly educated kind of pompous ass that thinks they are better than anyone else? Well, you just LOST MY VOTE!! That was discriminant against those of us who don’t speak the dead language!!

    • 0
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      ….et tu quoque Raphael fili mi!

    • 0
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      Queri si dimittimus eum in occulto ??

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      Nena – your mind was made up long before getting a spam phone call.
      No one is asking you to be homosexual, nor are they asking you to accept or understand it. They just want to be allowed to be married to the person they love.
      It won’t hurt you or me and they can live the life they want to live rather than pretending and marry someone of the opposite sex making two people unhappy for the rest of their lives.
      Would you have liked to be married to someone who was gay and pretended they weren’t knowing they were physically repulsed by your body. – I think not.

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      Rosret my mind was made up the moment I started researching the history of the SSM campaign and uncovered the real motive of those behind it. Things are seldom what they appear. When people lobby for change, they very often hide their true agenda, knowing it would be unacceptable to the majority. They create a blind that they know will win support. Here’s just one thought-provoking article. I’ve read dozens of others – including some written by SSM campaign leaders, and those are the most disturbing of all.

      https://www.spectator.com.au/2017/09/tying-the-gordian-knot/

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      Rainey That is the most weak argument based on the fear premise of what teachers do in schools.
      My goodness its the religious faction making the most noise and look at the horrific track record they have had with the care of children.
      Schools are not aiming to groom children, the survey is whether they may marry. Surely a monogamous relationship with a person you love lessens the feeling of being lost and unaccepted, it lowers the rate of STD and lets people be who they are not what we think they should be.
      No one is going to “convert” you or me either way and any teacher found “grooming” a child (which has nothing to do with same sex marriage by the way) will be dealt with by the law.
      What your reference link is incorrectly inferring is their is a link between pedophilia and homosexuality and that isn’t the case at all.
      These days evil can’t hide under the canopy of the church.
      The more communication we have the better understanding everyone has.
      However, with our age group, minds have been indoctrinated long ago so I won’t attempt to convert other people.

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      Not ”fear premise of what teachers do in schools” Rosret. Rather grave concern about what IS being taught in schools – under the deceptive guise of an ”anti-bullying” program. If my concerns are unfounded, why is the Federal Government demanding the Safe Schools program be modified? Why have several states abandoned it or refused to introduce it? Why have private school enrolments in Victorian schools that refuse to embrace Safe Schools skyrocketed? Why shouldn’t I be worried that Safe Schools was devised and is supported by known paedophiles? Why shouldn’t I be upset that children as young as 10 are being taught to masturbate in schools, and told that anal sex is better than vaginal and same-sex relationships can be much more fulfilling than mixed sex relationships; that marriage is ”obsolete” – an archaic notion; that biology does not dictate parentage?

      Rosret, you are wearing blinkers. Evil hid under the canopy of the church. Evil prevails in families. Family breakdown is at unprecedented rates. All the more reason to fight for morality and family and community values – if for no other reason, for the sake of the children who will suffer grave hurt as a consequence of the death of these values. Giving in to evil is not the solution to revelation of wrong. The right response to revelation of evil is to fight harder for what is right, natural, and most likely to secure the future of our society.

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      Nena is right. As soon as I opened that SMS I was converted to homosexuality.

  4. 0
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    Stupid act by yes campaigners…and the access to mobiles should be blocked for all political campaigns…rediculous intrusion!
    Bad enough to turn people and vote NO just out of anger at the Intrusion!

  5. 0
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    The ” Yes Campaign ” proponents/supporters have, yet again, shown their true colours in that they are no respecter of ” all Australians who have a Constitutional Right ” to cast a vote on this issue. Their arrogance has no boundary/respect to those in our Country who have an accepted basic human right to disagree. Gaining millions of Australian’s mobile ph numbers & deliberately violating their privacy, shows how arrogant this ” small percentage ” of Australia’s population really is.

    In complete contrast, the ” No Campaign ” side has been quite distinguished in its behaviour regarding s.s.m & its supporters. Vote No supporters have been downright respectful, not used foul language, not posted vilifying on social media, etc. They in contrast have displayed what it is takes to be ” truly Australian”!

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      I don’t believe our society will be socially enhanced for redefining the meaning of marriage from a union between a man and a woman. Step 2. in the push to redefine what it is to be male and female will soon gather pace. I hope they are prepared for what this confusion is going to do to young children. Teachers are sometimes required to take birds and bees classes so they will be obliged under anti-discrimination laws to include the dynamics of homosexual sex or be hauled over the coals for discrimination. We have seen more than enough examples of the arrogance and boldness that occurs when yelling and screaming minority groups succeed in force-feeding their demands onto the wider population. Setting that aside, it will also be illegal to merely voice an opposite opinion. What about kids whose parents teach that homosexual sex is wrong and kids repeat it in the playground? Who then faces the wrath of the homosexual lobby – parents or children?

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      I’m with you ‘not amused’. Straight white people are not allowed to discriminate against gay or coloured people and usually do not report discrimination and racial slurs made against them by gay or coloured people.
      I wonder when the gay and coloured people of our society will just learn that as a general rule, straight white people do not really care about your sexual proclivities or your skin tone. All we ask is mutual respect which as a rule is given until it is not returned.
      Just give respect to get respect! An insult will earn an insult.

    • 0
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      Any claim that the No campaign has been respectful is a downright lie. You have obviously closed your eyes (along with your mind) to the beating taken by Kevin Rudd’s godson, and the recent brick-throwing, window-smashing intimidation campaign against houses displaying Yes campaign signs.
      Let’s not deny the rights of long-term couples. Too often you hear of estranged, disapproving relatives stepping in after a death to take over funeral arrangements and prevent a gay partner from attending.

    • 0
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      Ooh poor not amused and geoftuke. It must be terrible being a straight white guy. You must get abused verbally and physically every time you leave your front door.
      And drewbie, the ‘no campaign are truly Australian by making decisions for others lives

      I can’t wait til your kind dies off, you self righteous, hypocritical, self important morons.

      I had no rights as a child, but now I’m a straight white 59yr old married woman and I voted YES.

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      “Truly Australian”? When the AFL declared their support for the Yes campaign they received a bomb threat. Truly Australian.

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      Crafty, it’s not the case that the ”no” side is making decisions for others’ lives. The reverse is true. The LGBT lobby insists on making decisions for the future of society – decisions that deny children their natural biological parentage and the security of parental love; decisions that deny parents the right to protect their children from premature exposure to inappropriate sex education’ decisions that deny parents the right to educate their children to be proud of their bodies and sexuality and to commit to partnership with someone of the opposite sex and to healthy family life. Read what the LGBT and SSM lobby really seeks. They want to abolish the concept of marriage. Demanding expansion of the definition is only the first step in a campaign that seeks to destroy the family unit completely.

      The SSM-lobby seeks to redefine marriage so that they can destroy the basic fabric of our society, because it is the family and community that presents the greatest threat to inappropriate political dominance. Support for SSM is support for political dominance and the loss of our freedom.

  6. 0
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    Yes and i really didnt like the fact that they could send me that number because I have been getting phone calls from the greens as I have never voted for them nor have I ever registered with them yet they call me and use my name. Im not impressed and have told them so!

  7. 0
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    I certainly was not amused to receive that text. The sender group doesn’t fit any of the “exempt” categories (listed above) and they should be held to account on the grounds that harrassment via telecommunications is unlawful.

    • 0
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      I also cannot see how the Yes campaign could possibly fit any of the categories above. How were they able to obtain an exemption to enable them to send out the texts all over Australia?

    • 0
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      Not Amused, they even sent a message to my 14 year old sons mobile phone.
      I am not happy !!!! I don’t care who it is be it the Yes or the No campaign people if they cannot distinguish the age of the person they send the message to they should not send it at all.
      I find it highly offensive for someone without a moral conscience to send messages to children. I would love to get my hands on the perpetrators that sent messages to children. It’s not a mistake a 10 year old can tell you indiscriminately sending computer generated messaging will obviously go to children as well as the rest of the community. They have done untold damage to their case.

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      Your 14 year old probably knows more than you but as any 14 year old boy his mind only thinks of 2 things, girls and football. Getting a text won’t make him gay. But I’m sure if he was you would love him just as much and keep him safe.

      If you are an army veteran you would know of the unwarranted discrimination against the army after the Vietnam war.

      Don’t make such a big deal out of a text. Live your life, enjoy your children.

    • 0
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      I think you miss the point, Crafty. The fact that 14 year-olds have such free access to information is all the more reason for society to ensure parents have every opportunity to protect them. No, getting a text won’t make anyone gay, but it may confuse and distress them such that they struggle to understand the truths about sexuality and family life. And yes, if a child was gay you would love them and want to keep them safe – but the law already ensures your ability to do that. What it DOES NOT do is protect your right to ensure that being gay is not a misguided choice – as it is for the vast majority of gays in today’s society. A tiny number are born with a homosexual gene. Gender confusion and wrongful sex education is responsible for the vast majority of gays making an ill-advised and inappropriate choice. And it is these gender-confused who are pushing for the right to ensure that more young make the same inappropriate choice, and to deny parents the right to protect their offspring.

      Please don’t compare the discrimination against Vietnam veterans. There IS no comparison. First, veterans mostly did not choose their status. It was forced on them by society and government. Second, their sacrifice was in the interests of preserving freedom – not abolishing it. And third, they generally suffered in proud and dignified silence. They did not bully, attack, vilify, and demand taxpayer funding to abuse the rest of the population in demand of remedy.

      It’s hard to enjoy your children if you are denied the right to protect them. And if parents are denied the right to claim biological parentage – as has happened in Canada – what enjoyment is left to them then?

    • 0
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      Education in school.
      I want basic sex education taught in high school. When a girl starts menstruating, she is not afraid as many of us were. A friend was told ‘just drink a glass of water”, she thought that would stop her getting pregnant. Where babies come from. I don’t know what boys would want to know but when my boys asked questions, I told them the truth. Sexuality should not come into it. Nor which way is better or with whoever. That’s something to protect children from.
      Discrimination.
      You and I both know gays do not choose but are born that way. My heart will always go out for veterans.
      Biological parentage.
      A lot of grandparents are bringing up grandchildren due to drug abuse, mental illness, death or abandonment by their own children. Children are placed in foster care for above reasons. Their crying out for carers. The family unit changed a long time ago.
      Rainey, We will always have the numbers to fight for children’s rights. We are more aware of the dangers, and we can protect them.

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      Crafty, I wish that were true!

      Gays fall into two categories – those born with a homosexual gene, and the MAJORITY who DO CHOOSE to be gay or lesbian. And the Safe Schools program is encouraging that choice. In fact, it’s advocating the right of choice and education that supports the notion that we are not born male or female, but only given a body that is often the ”wrong” body, and that we are all actually ”gender neutral” until we make an ”informed decision” whether we wish to be male or female. In one family, two boys both underwent sex change operations in before puberty. Two boys in one family in the wrong body? Come now! In another, mother and daughter became father and son. Really? Please don’t try to tell me this is okay on any level. And please DO NOT try to tell me that both mother and daughter were born ‘in the wrong body’. What utter crap!

      Sure, kids are placed in foster care for all kinds of reasons, but that’s not a reason to deny biological parentage. We should be fighting for a better deal for kids – helping biological parents to learn how to be better parents and providing strong incentives and support systems to strengthen families. Preaching the benefits of homosexual relationships and anal sex is NEVER going to help fix broken families. But it certainly will add to the pain and suffering of confused kids who, at times of extreme vulnerability, are exposed to the message that their problems might be resolved by joining the LGBT community. And letting gays marry and adopt kids can only cause further social harm – if not because kids are deprived of the love of a biological parent, then because gays have a far higher rate of partnership breakup, promiscuity, and mental instability than heterosexuals.

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      Rainey your credibility just took a nose dive!!!

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      Just? No Ibis 1315, it took a nose dive long ago. It really angers me when people play expert when they don’t know what they are talking about! Lots of false information being spread by Rainey.

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      Says the crazy who claimed the SSM campaign only began two weeks ago!!!!!

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      Says the crazy who claimed the SSM campaign only began two weeks ago!!!!!

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      I’m only quoting the most aggressive of the pro-SSM/pro-Safe Schools LGBTQs, Robi and ibis1315. If I’m wrong, then many of those driving the campaign are misleading us all.

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      I’m only quoting the most aggressive of the pro-SSM/pro-Safe Schools LGBTQs, Robi and ibis1315. If I’m wrong, then many of those driving the campaign are misleading us all.

  8. 0
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    I quite frankly don’t care whether somebody deemed it ‘suitable’ to send or not, I didn’t subscribe to their service, I DON’T WANT IT OR ANYTHING ELSE LIKE IT!!!!

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      You chose it by purchasing your phone. Turn it off.

    • 0
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      That was an absolutely brilliant remark “Waiting to Retire at 70” !
      Why didn’t we all think about doing that – at the appropriate time/s too ?
      I’ll remember to do that next time. Thanks for the suggestion.
      Brilliant !!!!!

    • 0
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      Just delete it like you do all the junk that floods into email accounts.

    • 0
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      Waiting to retire should have more commonsense, phones only work if they are turned on, furthermore I find it outrageous and totally unacceptable that they sent their messaging to my 14 year old sons phone. He like other children today use the mobile phones for security purposes, schools also Email and text students in 2017 as it’s not 1967. If they can’t determine the person they are sending messaging to then DON’T SEND THE MESSAGES AT ALL. (Morons !!!!)

  9. 0
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    I have no problems with Gays living together but I am very concerned with the proposed changes to Legislation if the SSM goes ahead. Shorten has already stated that Labour will use the law to punish anyone who does not fall in line with same sex ideology and religious practice outside the church will be under threat. In Canada, school curriculums were immediately changed after SSM came into force, freedom of speech went out of the window and parents lost control of their children who were still very immature and schools thought they were a candidate for transgender. Similiar horror stories emerged from the UK. We are continually bombarded, even with threats of violence, that SSM is all about Love and Equality, but Turnbull is chasing the Yes vote and is refusing to explain the full legal consequences of SSM. It is frightening. open your eyes, or better still Google results of SSM in Canada and the UK and also what is starting to happen in the US.

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      You started your commentary with “I have no problems …” and went down from there. Your bigotry is obvious.

    • 0
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      Dear Waiting to retire, it is rude to refer to someone simply giving their opinion on this forum as a bigot. Mike is giving a general opinion and what No voters are worried about is evident in your post – an example of the bullying Yes campaigners and a real turn-off. “You chose it by purchasing your phone. Turn it off.” If this how campaigners treat opinions on a forum like this, it’s no recommendation for a yes vote. I’ve never met a heterosexual who gave 2 seconds’ thought about homosexuals living together. What is often deplored is the overt coarse sexual boldness displayed in the Sydney Mardi Gras. Two men I was friendly with for a very long time lived together for 35 years. Both of them say that marriage is a traditional union between a man and a woman. They both made wills – to each other. In hospital they were both treated as a couple and were pensioned in the same way as any de facto couple. The argument that homosexual couples are legally deprived is a ploy to muscle in on traditional marriage to prove a point and achieve legitimacy whilst walking all over the rest of us with the proverbial hob-nailed boots.

    • 0
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      Hi mike.
      “WAITING TO RETIRE’s” response to your comments is so very, very typical of the Yes campaigner’s bullying tactics by calling you a bigot.
      That’s about the best they can come up with.
      You are not a bigot. You have every right to express your opinion.
      Shame and scorn on bullies.
      I agree, fully, with “NOT AMUSED’s” comments.

    • 0
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      Waiting to retire, your response is exactly the kind of response we have come to expect from the ‘Yes’ side of the argument. No respect for someone with a different opinion but straight to the name calling.

      mike is doing nothing other than reporting on some of the consequences that occurred in other countries after the ‘Yes’ vote prevailed. Given this is fact (inconvenient though that may be for some) it is not bigotry to point it out. At least not if you are having an adult discussion. Something I am not convinced the ‘Yes” voters are all capable of given their behaviour to date.

      And in any case; wasn’t it George Brandis, during the fight over media and free speech who said “Australians have the right to be bigots!”?

    • 0
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      Well said Mike. That’s the way some people try to deal with this issue. The pigeon hole you, call you names and then they don’t have to deal with you or debate you on issues because you’re a ‘homophobe’ or a ‘bigot’ and, therefore, you’re opinion doesn’t matter.

      Waiting To Retire, how long do you have to go until retirement ….. 40 years? You carry on like someone from Gen Y and don’t respect other people or their opinions. Not a proper way to make your point!

    • 0
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      Mike, can you please supply the evidence of changes to school curriculums in Canada and the UK whereby children are being indoctrinated into being transgender?

      I have, as you suggested, Googled and all I can find is ultra right wing and/or religious opinion that presents rather scaremongering scenarios that are completely over the top.

      I would really be interesting in reading any articles that are based on fact rather than fiction that you have come across. Thank you.

    • 0
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      You don’t seem to bring up the millions of reports, worldwide, about the killings and grievous bodily harm inflicted on gays. Not to mention the mental harm!!!

      All generated by fear, misunderstanding, not being educated and ignorance.

      Oh, wait, is that OK?

    • 0
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      Marg:

      Put it this way, if there were a conspiracy to turn children gay or transgender those behind it would not admit it openly. These things are done by stealth, and can be inferred by drawing a conclusion based on numerous observations over a period of time. The world we live in is up to interpretation, and truth cannot be expected to originate from any one source.

      Also, you assume that simply because a website is designated as far right or religious that it’s point of view is ‘wrong’ by default. The left can use this trick because media and academia are largely of the left, culturally speaking.

      You’ve set up your argument so those critical of gay marriage can’t win, as you won’t accept evidence provided by someone who is ‘far right’, and if you oppose gay marriage you will often be labeled ‘far right’ to begin with, so it’s a catch-22.

      Equality is a religious concept, it only exists in the abstract, and not in nature.

      ibis1315:

      How is that even an argument? It is already illegal to bash people regardless of sexual preference or marital status. How would allowing gays to marry stop them from being bashed? How would it ‘educate people’? Besides, most of those examples are likely to originate in the third world, where there is a completely different culture and society. Why lecture and finger wag at us for behaviour that is largely not our own?

      You’d think over 50s would have more common sense, that’s what several decades of believing everything on TV does to you I guess.

    • 0
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      younunpassingthru……

      https://www.
      ytimes.com/2017/01/30/world/australia/australia-gay-men-killed-suicides-sydney.html

      Pull your head out of your backside and get a dose of reality!!!

      I think you should keep on passing through!!!

    • 0
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      Bigots, racists, xenophobes, homophobes etc. always have “but” in their comments. The hardest person to be honest with is yourself.

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      That entire article is pure supposition and assertion. Nothing has yet been evidenced. But regardless, society has changed a lot since then. There are strong laws against discrimination and gays have extensive legislated rights.

      On the other hand, those Strummer brands with vile insulting names have NO legal protection against the nasty attacks perpetrated on them for merely having an opinion on an issue the government has asked us all to have an opinion on.

      youngunpassingthru is absolutely correct – ESPECIALLY with the remark that allowing SSM won’t stop bullying. One has nothing to do with the other!

  10. 0
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    I too recieved the text message from yes campaign but people just do as I did and DELETE, don’t get yourselves upset over it, is it really worth the angst ?

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      No it’s not. I get unwanted messages all the time from businesses selling stuff and advertising sales etc. I just delete them. No big deal.

    • 0
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      Actually Robi I am totally over advertising, dental reminders, how to vote, charities etc. I didn’t give people my number and I don’t want ANY nuisance calls.
      I won’t give to charities who phone anymore because of the nuisance calls it generates and if they want visa or any other details even off line I won’t donate.

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