Now this is how you respond to an anti-gay politician.
A few days ago, Diane Teasdale posted a crazy homophobic screed on Facebook. She’s running for office in a little Australian town.
“I do not support homosexual marriage,” she began, and then went on to blame gays for molestation, drug use, and suicide. “Too many confused children are turning to drugs or suicide and their parents are still not willing to educate themselves about what is destroying their children’s sense of security and belief in the future,” she wrote.
The post is gone now, after having earned over 4,000 comments — most of them annoyed by Teasdale’s hate. That outpouring of support has buoyed the spirits of LGBTs in Shepparton. A gay resident named Kieran Murphy said he was relieved to see “the amount of disgust that her opinions evoked in people.” Previously, her rant would have been “embraced” by locals, he said, but now it’s been rejected.
And there are definitely signs of progress in the town. Last year, the local council voted to endorse marriage equality. That followed some bitter debate, but in the end even an elderly councillor was swayed to vote in favor.
Another silver lining: Teasdale has virtually no chance of winning the election. The other two people running, Duncan McGauchie and Damian Drum, both have much wider support and support the freedom to marry.
Australia may face a vote on marriage equality very soon. National elections are looming, and the current Prime Minister wants to hold an expensive survey — costs could be as high as a half billion dollars, according to Price Waterhouse Cooper — on marriage. His opponent favors enacting marriage equality through legislation, a move that would likely have widespread public support. Recent surveys show that support for marriage equality in Australia is approaching the low 70s.