Australian Man Nails Response To Politician Who Scoffed At LGBTQ Concerns

"Isn't the role of leadership to support society's most vulnerable, rather than kick them while they’re down?"

Australia is currently in the midst of a postal vote that could finally make same-sex marriage legal, and although early voting and other markers have indicated the country overwhelmingly supports the measure, not all of Australia's politicians are in favor of it.

In fact, after the country's National Mental Health Commission issued a statement regarding the negative impacts brought on LGBTQ people by the ongoing marriage equality debate, conservative politician Matthew Canavan issued a reply critics say was ill-conceived.



Last month, Canavan claimed the debate "hasn't been that bad," and stated advocates of marriage equality should "grow a spine" and "stop being little flowers." You can watch his full statement below.

According to The Guardian, Canavan was previously criticized for his remarks by mental health expert Patrick McGorry, who called the damaging comments "very regrettable," and on Monday he took some heat directly from a member of the Australian electorate during a television program Q&A. 

Mashable reports the audience member named Gordon identified himself as a "young gay man who had the misfortune of attending an underprivileged public school." 

"I endured slurs on a daily basis, was spat upon by more aggressive bullies and found countless notes stuck in my locker, decrying me as bringing shame to my family or being riddled with AIDS and telling me that I was wasting my life," Gordon explained. "I was also told that I was threat to children and that being gay was no better than being a pedophile."

Taking aim directly at Canavan, Gordon added, "You have criticized my community as being delicate little flowers who need to grow a spine in the face of abuse. Isn't the role of leadership to support society's most vulnerable, rather than kick them while they're down in hopes of some political point scoring?"

In response, Canavan defended his statements by saying "little flowers" referred to those on both sides of the marriage equality debate, and explained he's worried about a lack of respect for other people's opinions in modern democracy. 

And even though Canavan didn't agree with the National Mental Health Commission's initial statement citing the negative impact the prolonged marriage equality debate has on members of the LGBTQ community, evidence suggests such an impact exists. Per The Guardian, digital youth service ReachOut reported a 20 percent increase in people accessing its online advice relating to LGBTQ issues, and according to Fairfax Media, half a dozen of the country's most prominent mental health organizations have held crisis talks to address higher demand.

The postal vote for same-sex marriage will conclude on November 7, with the non-binding results scheduled to be announced on November 15.

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