Culture

A New Anti-Marriage Equality Group Has Started Up And Their Entire Campaign Is Pure Cringe

Exhibit A: this confused man holding a tiny, tiny iceberg.

After a relaxing winter break in which the House of Reps lost its Speaker due to an elaborate controversy involving a helicopter, Parliament will resume this coming Monday with much work to do. Aside from vetting and training SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin — the obvious choice — for Bronwyn Bishop’s old job, the government will also have to face up to that multi-party bill on marriage equality they’ve been dreading.

Set to be introduced by Liberal MPs Warren Entsch and Teresa Gambaro, seconded by Labor MP Terri Butler and co-sponsored by Labor’s Laurie Ferguson, Adam Bandt from the Greens and Independent MPs Cathy McGowan and Andrew Wilkie, the bill is by far the most united stand on the issue Australian Parliament has ever seen. And though its success is still totally dependent on the concession of a conscience vote from the Coalition, there’s obvious momentum building in its favour.

More than 500 major local businesses and sporting organisations have now signed Australian Marriage Equality’s open letter demanding change, Opposition leader Bill Shorten was literally ensconced in a rainbow flag at the National Labor Conference last weekend, and Penny Wong recently went up against Cory Bernardi to debate the issue in front of the nation.

There was a very clear victor.

In the face of all this — as well as ongoing overwhelming public support — conservative politicians and groups have been throwing their final desperate punches. Eric Abetz and Barnaby Joyce both famously argued that marriage equality would affect our nation’s trade relationships in Asia (despite the fact that the Indonesian foreign ministry has plainly stated otherwise). The Australian Christian Lobby are running events with special guest speakers about “the cost of ‘equality'”. And, though Fred Nile’s no stranger to this kind of public outcry, he’s been suspiciously quiet for the past couple of weeks — presumably using his break to run house to house and make sure there’s no funny business going on.

BEGONE OLD MAN WINTER.

Now, we have a new player in this terrible, terrible game. Launching over the weekend, Marriage Alliance obscurely define themselves as “an independent alliance bringing together individuals and organisations supporting a common cause”. Though that’s all the information they chose to give via Facebook, their website goes on to elaborate stating, “We are not ready to have same sex marriage in Australia.”

This is no doubt an argument you’re painfully familiar with, so I’ll spare you the details. I will, however, painstakingly break down some of the many cringeworthy moments in their glorious fledgling campaign for you because it’s just much more fun:

The Bit Where Marriage Equality Is An Iceberg Because Metaphors

The main thrust of the group’s argument here is that though marriage equality is presented as a simple or alluring idea, it’s also tied to larger more complex issues, such as sex education and children’s welfare, which pose real danger. Though these are all concerns that have been openly discussed at length in the past, they are presented here as total unknowns, undoubtedly after one group member yelled “THIS IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG” and mischievous smiles crept over everyone’s faces.

It also lends itself well to parody:

The Bit Where There’s A Ship Next To The Iceberg Because TITANIC

The boat sneakily slips into the picture in the last few seconds of the above video, but it’s also pretty unashamedly plastered all over their website:

titanic

Geddit?

Australia (probably).

The Bit Where They Freely Admit To Knowing Nothing

sense

This isn’t a link. There’s no actual answer provided below it. For all I know, this is the result of the group’s web designer plainly admitting ignorance and asking for help.

The Bit With This Guy

guy

 

I mean, look at him. I’d also be pretty confused if I were holding a tiny iceberg that had been inexplicably engraved with the words “same sex marriage”.

The Bit Where That Guy Is A Really Unfortunate Stock Model

Seamless.

The Bit Where They Post “News”

To provide answers to the many questions they pose on the site, Marriage Alliance have a “latest news” section with a few links to articles that support their overall position.

The first of these suggests support for marriage equality has dropped in the US following the landmark Supreme Court decision, and infers the same would happen if it ever became law in Australia. However the story is sourced from a similar Australian activist site called Natural Marriage, which was first sourced from a conservative US blog called Newsmax, which was in turn sourced from “a conservative weekly journal” called National Review. When you follow the link from this back to the original polls, the story changes entirely. Though Gallup did report a 2 percent drop in support, they make a point to note that the difference from their previous poll is “not statistically meaningful”.

“Americans’ views on gay marriage are stable following the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling that made same-sex marriage a right nationwide,” they wrote. “The court’s ruling on the practice, which was legal in the majority of states, so far has not affected the way Americans feel about the issue.”

The Bit Where You Can Easily Answer All The Foreboding Questions

1

No.

2

No.

3

No. They can’t get married. That’s kind of the whole thing.

The Bit Where Their Campaign Material Has Zero Context

SBS report that the above ad just went live today on TV and radio with corresponding promo in print and online, but the group took Sunday afternoon to officially launch this odd campaign in Sydney. Though only held at a local pub, a few people gathered together to hear spokesperson Sophie York introduce the group, and decked themselves out in sweet merch — merch that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever when taken outside of the room:

badge

Pictured: That girl you met in first-year Philoshopy who wouldn’t stop talking about The Matrix.

Obviously, they would have gone with their original design had it not been stolen in 1998 by Peter Weir for The Truman Show:

truman

Slightly better.

The Bit Where They Have Strange Ties To The Liberal Party

Though Marriage Alliance has gone to all this trouble to introduce themselves, it’s ironically still not clear who they are. The website has a “Who We Are” page devoid of a single person’s name.

According to SBS, the group is “funded by individual donors with founding directors including former investment banker Jim Dominguez, Prof Ashley Goldsworthy, the former Australian Liberal Party President who along with company Director Mark Phillips has also had involvement in Catholic education”. And, as many soon noted on Twitter, their spokesperson also has pretty strong ties to the Liberal Party.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 6.10.36 pm

(via her campaign brochure when she ran as Member of the NSW Legislative Council)

It’s nearly enough to make you miss the helicopters.

Simpler times.

Warren Entsch and Teresa Gambaro are scheduled to introduce their marriage equality bill to Parliament on August 11.