'No' vote radio caller thanks Hitler for jailing homosexuals

JUST days after revelations of a shock slide in support for same-sex marriage had the "yes" side in panic mode, a new poll has claimed that votes will resoundingly back a change in the law.

On Tuesday, a Fairfax-Ipsos poll showed 70 per cent of those who intended to take part in the same-sex marriage postal survey will vote in favour of allowing gay couples to wed.

Ballots for the postal vote will be sent out from Tuesday with households expected to start receiving them next week.

The result comes at the end of a mixed 24 hours for the "yes" campaign. While one of the largest companies in the world, Apple, has thrown their weight behind marriage equality, the debate also turned nasty when the ABC put a caller to air who praised Hitler for incarcerating gay men in concentration camps.

Thousands take to the streets of Sydney, Australia to march in support of same-sex marriage on September 10, 2017. They marched from Sydney Town Hall via Elizabeth Street to Customs House, Circular Quay in support of the 'Yes' campaign FOR the upcoming vote on same-sex marriage in Australia.
Thousands take to the streets of Sydney, Australia to march in support of same-sex marriage on September 10, 2017. They marched from Sydney Town Hall via Elizabeth Street to Customs House, Circular Quay in support of the 'Yes' campaign FOR the upcoming vote on same-sex marriage in Australia. AAP Image - NEWZULU - Richard Milnes

It was only on Saturday that same-sex marriage supporters were left reeling from a poll that showed a six per cent fall in support to 58 per cent. Fewer than two-thirds of people said they would return their ballots.

However, some confidence has now returned with the new Fairfax poll showing support for marriage equality at a far healthier 70 per cent.

The survey of 1400 people, conducted towards the end of last week, found women were more likely to participate in the survey than men.

Support for same-sex marriage was in the majority across all age groups including 54 per cent of over 55s. Just over half of Coalition voters were in favour of the change with 86 per cent of Labor supporters and 96 per cent of Greens voters also in the yes column.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook

The pro-same-sex marriage side have also received a boost with Apple, one of the world's top 10 largest companies, backing a law change.

In a statement to news.com.au, an Apple spokesman said: "We support marriage equality and believe all Australians deserve the freedom to marry the person they love, and to have their relationships recognised with the same dignity and legal protections as their neighbours, friends, and family."

Apple boss Tim Cook came out in 2014, the first executive of a Fortune 500 company to identify as gay.

When the Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage in the US in 2014, Mr Cook tweeted that it was "a victory for equality, perseverance and love".

Cricket Australia is the latest peak sports body to back marriage equality. On Monday, the organisation's chief executive, James Sutherland, said: "Cricket must be a welcoming environment for each and every one of us, regardless of gender, cultural heritage and - importantly in the current environment - sexuality."

However, the tone of the debate continues to be of concern. On Monday, comedian and author Benjamin Law was criticised for a tweet where he said he wondered if he should "hate f**k" homophobic MPs.

Critics said the comments were "vile". Law replied that he was talking about "consensual sex with someone disagreeable".

On the same day Law's comments came to light a "no" supporter weighed into the debate on ABC radio, praising Adolf Hitler's approach to homosexuality.

Thousands take to the streets of Sydney, Australia to march in support of same-sex marriage on September 10, 2017. They marched from Sydney Town Hall via Elizabeth Street to Customs House, Circular Quay in support of the 'Yes' campaign FOR the upcoming vote on same-sex marriage in Australia.
Thousands take to the streets of Sydney, Australia to march in support of same-sex marriage on September 10, 2017. They marched from Sydney Town Hall via Elizabeth Street to Customs House, Circular Quay in support of the 'Yes' campaign FOR the upcoming vote on same-sex marriage in Australia. AAP Image - NEWZULU - Richard Milnes

On Jon Faine's ABC Melbourne radio show, a caller identified as "Don" criticised Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton for supporting same-sex marriage.

In his view, the commission should have remained neutral.

When Faine said it would be unusual for an organisation with "Equal Opportunity" in its name to not champion equal opportunity, Don invoked the Nazi dictator.

"Hitler had concentration camps for gay people. It's one of the two good things he did [alongside building] autobahns."

ABC Melbourne radio presenter Jon Faine took a call from a listener who invoked Hitler in relation to the gay marriage debate.
ABC Melbourne radio presenter Jon Faine took a call from a listener who invoked Hitler in relation to the gay marriage debate. News Limited

Faine told Don that, generally, once you used Hitler to back up an argument, the argument was lost. Thousands of gay men were being murdered by the Nazi regime.

Executive Director of the Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady, said LGBTI people were being harmed by the extremes of the debate.

"This type of comment is repugnant to almost every Australian and the values of respect and fairness that have underpinned our nation.

"Sadly it is part of a clear pattern including posters and leaflets that are being circulated across Australia by groups who won't put their name to them," he said.

"We must never forget that this is a survey about real people's lives who just happen to be gay and simply wish to have the same status and dignity in law."

News Corp Australia


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