The LGBTI Legal Service has collected over 220 examples of hate speech throughout the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey in a project aimed at addressing unlawful vilification.
The ‘Like Love’ project has monitored social media, news websites and public spaces to track public statements that incite ridicule or hatred on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity.
“Unfortunately, throughout the Marriage Law Postal Survey it has been virtually impossible for anyone who identifies as queer to avoid exposure to views which condemn who they are as a person,” said Matilda Alexander, President of the LGBTI Legal Service.
“The Postal Survey has opened the door to homophobia and vilification being expressed under the guise of legitimate debate.
“Instead of a legitimate debate, the LGBTI community has had to put up with weeks of destructive commentary which only takes society backwards on the progress which has lead to broader acceptance of LGBTI people in the last 30 years,” she explained.
The LGBTI Legal Service has received submissions of hate speech from community members as well as using project workers to monitor spaces.
The hate speech ranges from individual posts on social media pages to neo-Nazi groups plastering posters in various public locations.
The LGBTI Legal Service is now preparing a complaint under anti-discrimination laws.