AUSTRALIA: Christianist Group Forces Removal Of Safer Sex Campaign
An anti-gay Christian group in Brisbane, Australia has forced an outdoor advertising company to yank a just-launched safer sex campaign. The ads featured a fully-clothed gay couple holding an unopened condom.
Adshel, the company that provides advertising for Brisbane's bus shelters; Goa Billboards; and the Advertising Standards Bureau were targeted in an orchestrated campaign by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL). Healthy Communities executive director Paul Martin said it was extremely disheartening that Adshel had buckled. "Those of us who have been around fighting HIV in Queensland for a while will remember this kind of reaction from days gone by," he told AAP. "We certainly don't expect it in 2011."
ACL was trying to have gay people "erased from the public sphere", Mr Martin said. "It's an extreme minority of people who are very well organised and are able to launch this kind of action," he said. "The vast majority of Queenslanders support gay and lesbian rights." ACL Queensland director Wendy Francis said she objected to the sexual nature of the ads, not the fact the couple pictured were gay. Ms Francis was last year forced to apologise publicly after a Tweet likening gay marriage to legalising child abuse.