News National Barnaby Joyce tells same-sex marriage campaigners to ‘get out of my face’
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Barnaby Joyce tells same-sex marriage campaigners to ‘get out of my face’

Barnaby Joyce Same-sex marriage
"I just don't want people standing at the corner yelling at me, telling me that if I don't agree with them, that I'm somehow less than human." Photo: AAP
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Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has a message for people campaigning in support of same-sex marriage: “Just get out of my face”.

The Nationals leader, who does not support changing marriage laws, said on Monday that he was frustrated by the way the debate had unfolded so far.

“I can’t stand these people who stand at the corner and start yelling at you about what your views are on a very personal issue, just get out of my face, leave me alone I will make the decision up myself,” he told ABC Radio.

“I just don’t want people standing at the corner yelling at me, telling me that if I don’t agree with them, that I’m somehow less than human.”

gay marriage
‘Yes’ supporters say the LGBT community has already faced vilification. Photo: AAP

The Deputy PM did commit to voting in favour of the reform if a majority Australians supported ‘Yes’ in the postal survey.

Mr Joyce’s comments come one day before the Australian Bureau of Statistics begins mailing out survey letters on Tuesday.

The government and opposition are currently in negotiations to finalise legislation that will provide advertising protections and prevent vilification during the campaign as would apply in a general election.

Amid the negotiations, the National Mental Health Commission expressed concerns on Monday that the debate was already having an impact on vulnerable LGBT Australians.

“Despite the fact the majority of Australians are supportive of LGBTIQ people, unfortunately unacceptable sentiments are being expressed around the debate,” Commission co-chair Professor Allan Fels said.

“LGBTIQ people have been experiencing damaging behaviour in their workplaces, communities and in social and traditional media.”

Since the survey was announced, same-sex marriage advocates complained of the emergence offensive posters and flyers bearing messages such as “stop the fags” and encouraging the Chinese community to vote ‘no’ to stop their children becoming homosexual.

On Monday, ABC Melbourne fielded a talkback call from a man, Don, who went on to say: “Hitler had put all those kind of people in their own concentration camps – it’s one of the two good things he did.”

Despite that, Nationals senator Matt Canavan, who is opposed to same-sex marriage dismissed those concerns on Monday.

“Can’t we just all grow a spine and grow up? The debate hasn’t been that bad,” Senator Canavan told Sky News.

“If there’s anything to complaints to be had it’s from those who advocate ‘yes’, some of the vile tweets and statements we’ve heard from yes campaigners – but I can ignore that.”

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen described Senator Canavan’s comments as “pretty unfortunate”.

‘There are young people who are struggling with coming out, they’re struggling with this debate…It’s not always a respectful debate,’ Mr Bowen told Sky News.

Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton also said on Monday that he had not seen examples of “vile” material directed at LGBT Australians.

The result of the postal survey will be announced on November 15 at 11.30am.

The Prime Minister on Monday repeated his support for the ‘Yes’ campaign after making a surprise appearance at a Liberals and Nationals for ‘Yes’ event on Sunday.

“If two gay people down the road who are living together decide to get married, how does that threaten my nearly 38-year-old marriage to Lucy? Of course it doesn’t,” Mr Turnbull told Triple M radio.

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