[Editor’s note: The premise in this article that grants a right to free speech should be questioned. I think it’s fair to say that the broadcasting of abominable acts which often coincide with such parades, the representation of abominable acts that are in and of themselves defiling should be considered sinful and unlawful]
The 37th Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras last Saturday was one of the best-publicised events in Sydney’s social calendar. About 10,000 people participated, with 150 floats chugging through the gay district. An estimated 200,000 watched the spectacle…
Three local TV channels broadcast live coverage of the sexually-explicit activities, which have become so much a part of Sydney life that they hardly provoke hostile comments any more.
But this year there was a protest.
Channel 7 and Channel 9, two commercial stations, and SBS, a government-funded station, agreed to broadcast a 40-second advertisement from the Australian Marriage Forum which criticised same-sex marriage during their coverage. (The YouTube version has gone viral and has been viewed about 200,000 times.)
The commercial stations lived up to their agreement, but SBS buckled under pressure and cancelled the ad the day before the event. “I’ve unfortunately been instructed to advise you that we choose not to run this TVC for the Marriage Forum during the Mardi Gras telecast,” an SBS official told the head of the Australian Marriage Forum, Dr David van Gend.
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