Lobby groups go head-to-head in marriage equality fight

THE marriage equality fight is heating up as one lobby group releases an anti-same-sex nuptials advertisement and another arrives in Canberra looking for a prime ministerial change of heart.

Marriage Alliance used Father's Day to post its latest advertisement, allegedly implying children of same-sex couples will become rapists, school dropouts and drug users, on YouTube.

This came as 40 Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) members from across the country hit the hustings in Canberra hoping to convince Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his colleagues that a "free vote" is needed on same-sex marriage.

The Marriage Alliance's one-minute film allegedly implies young people raised by gay parents are more likely to commit rape and other crimes, take drugs, run away from home and wag school than children raised in traditional homes.

By noon yesterday, just 100 people had watched the advert.

"Society should be strengthening the bond of father and child, not breaking it," Marriage Alliance said of the film.

Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome labelled the advertisement as "extreme and stigmatising".

"The Marriage Alliance is drawing the longest bow possible, trying and failing to link kids raised in disadvantaged homes in America with loving, committed same-sex couples marrying in Australia," Mr Croome said.

Meanwhile, PFLAG spokeswoman Shelley Argent urged Mr Abbott to re-think his plans for a plebiscite on gay marriage.

"We believe a "true" free vote is the only way," she said at a press conference in Canberra.

"It costs zero dollars and could pass if the Liberals had the freedom to vote freely with legislation being amended by Christmas."

- APN NEWSDESK


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