Advocates say an anti-gay flyer distributed in Hobart is a perfect example of why marriage equality is important.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome said,

“The fact there’s still this kind of hate in parts the community shows why it’s important we remove all discrimination from our laws, especially when we’re dealing with something as important as marriage.”

“I urge voters offended by the flyer to vote for marriage equality on Saturday, and I call on all opponents of the state same-sex marriage bill to immediately distance themselves from this disgusting material.”

“Tasmanians have worked hard to free ourselves from our former reputation for homophobia and this kind of hatred is no longer who we are.”

Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner, Julian Type, has told ABC radio that 3,400 anti-gay flyers have been posted to households in the Upper House division of Nelson which goes to the polls on Saturday in an election where same-sex marriage will figure prominently.

Commissioner Type, who described the flyers as “hateful and scurrilous”, said that he considers them a breach of the Electoral Act because they are not properly authorised.

The flyers, which include bizarre lists of statistics suggesting gay and lesbian people are a threat to health, are also being investigated by the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner as a possible breach of Tasmania’s incitement-to-hatred laws.

Mr Croome said,

“Some people will dismiss these flyers as a joke but they have a dramatic impact, especially on young people coming to terms with being gay.”

“If there were flyers that treated blacks or Jews in the derogatory way these flyers treat gay and lesbian people there’d be an outcry.”

“My hope is the inquiries currently underway will determine where the money has come from to pay for the printing and distribution of these flyers.”

Copies of the same flyer were distributed in Launceston early in April. In a report in the Launceston Examiner a Mr James Durstan took responsibility for the flyer, declaring he is a “spokesman for God”.

Rodney Croome: Tassie voters face stark choice between inclusion and hate

Guy Barnett: Hateful flyer condemned