'Don't bring kids into same-sex marriage campaigns'

IN THE MAIL: The Coalition for Marriage distributed the leaflet titled
IN THE MAIL: The Coalition for Marriage distributed the leaflet titled "three ways marriage will change the classroom". Helen Speletis

A STATE-WIDE action group is part of the community upset by 'propaganda' leaflets distributed to households as the same-sex marriage survey continues to roll out.

The Queensland Action Group for LGBTIQ+ Student says children and school should not be included in same-sex marriage campaigns as The Coalition for Marriage distributed a leaflet titled "three ways marriage will change the classroom".

Last week Ipswich resident Zac William raised concerns about the junk mail he found stuffed under his door.

"I read through some and I was quite frustrated. These people are saying more people are going to be confused about it and they don't think there should be a right to do such a thing, that it's wrong, against religious beliefs and against the church," he said.

"There was so much propaganda it wasn't funny.

"I believe a majority of it is not true, it's defaming our community and by that I mean the gay community.

"I don't think it's called for."

The Queensland Action Group for LGBTIQ+ Student spokesperson Dr Janet Berry said those involved in the campaign around same-sex marriage should stop including children and schools in their messages.

"Linking marriage equality to the care of vulnerable children is a tactic to win votes that shows no respect for the children concerned and may load more discrimination and hurt on them, their parents and siblings," she said.

Dr Berry said at least 10% of every school population or three children in every classroom identified as LGBTIQ+.

"Try to imagine the constant daily struggle of masquerading as someone you are not. It is inconceivable to those of us who don't need to," she said.

"These days, in the world of 2017, children and young people see diversity all around them, among their idols in the world of music and sport, openly gay politicians in the Australian Parliament and the happiness and exuberance of Pride gatherings and marches. They have a greater expectation of acceptance, hoping to be loved as they are and quite rightly expecting to live their life free of discrimination and bullying."

"How then can governments and those responsible for education live with the knowledge that the most common place of abuse for LGBTIQ+ children is at school and a large majority of these students do not feel supported by their school."

Topics:  marriage survey same sex marriage

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