Dr David van Gend. Photo Contributed
Dr David van Gend. Photo Contributed Contributed

Activist says SBS censored part of same-sex debate

TOOWOOMBA GP Dr David van Gend has questioned the decision of national broadcaster SBS TV to refuse to run an Australian Marriage Forum advertisement in opposition to same-sex marriage.

The AMF 30-second ad which ran in prime time television in Sydney at the same time of the city's Mardi Gras parade, questioned the rights of the child in same-sex marriage and argued every child had a right to a mother and father.

In an interview with Paul Dobbyn of The Catholic Leader published at the weekend, Dr van Gend said though SBS TV had confirmed a booking to broadcast the ad, it offered no explanation for later declining to run it.

"Although funded by taxpayers on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate, SBS has taken sides on the issue of same-sex marriage and censored one side of the debate," he was quoted in the article.

"So here we have SBS broadcasting hours of the Mardi Gras protest march, free of charge, with its 'Australian Marriage Equality' float and other political themes.

"Yet the station refused to show less than one minute of the AFM-paid ad presenting an opposing view."

The ad was run by Channels 9 and 7 in Sydney.

The issues raised by the advertisement prompted a huge public debate and response via The Chronicle's social media sites.

In the ad, Dr van Gend suggested the mother-child bond was the deepest in human life.

"I point out laws allowing same-sex marriage would deny children even the possibility of relationship with his or her biological mother or father," he said.

Dr van Gend rejected allegations that the AMF ad discriminated against same-sex couples.

"Nobody is questioning the competence of two lesbian women to raise a child, but neither of them can be a dad to a little boy or girl," he said.

"Similarly two men in a same-sex relationship may be fine citizens, but they cannot guide a growing girl into womanhood the way a mother can."

The ad, which had the financial backing and moral support of a number of residents from the Toowoomba region, can be viewed on the AFM website at australianmarriage.org

The AFM planned to run more advertisements during the multimedia campaign under the theme Think of the Child which aimed to present a child-centred case against legislation of same-sex marriage, the family doctor said.

"Our hope is this and other ads will give moral support to the sensible middle of society who knows children need a mum and a dad," De van Gend was reported as saying.

"Another great hope is that churches will use our ads on their websites to talk of the rights of the child in sermons, youth groups and so on.

"If Christians and other people of good will abandon the truth of marriage and family, our culture will be lost."