A pamphlet which compares LGBT+ people to Nazis is being distributed in a suburb of Adelaide, Australia, but lawyers say that while it’s “disturbing”, it’s not illegal.
The leaflet, which has a picture of a baby on the front with a communist flag in one hand and a Pride flag in the other, repeatedly refers to LGBT+ people as “heterophobes”.
It was created by a group that describes itself online as the “handbook for Christian radicals”.
It states: “Heterophobia is a media-imposed fear of a normal sexual relationship and the responsibility for children that goes with it.”
It also compares gay people with Nazis, LGBT-inclusive education with concentration camp experiments on children and Pride with Nazi propaganda.
The leaflet continues: “[Hitler] used the same means, only now the pornography of power that is state propaganda has morphed from Nazi political perversion into perverted gay activism for abnormal ‘marriage’ equality.
“It holds the endorsement of the United Nations, heads of state, heads of corporations, school teachers, even brainwashed parents, for the same reasons they submitted to the Nazis in pre-war Germany.”
It adds: “The flags of the perverted rainbow are now emblazoned, not just on city council offices, public walkways and in public parades but on churches as well; for the same reasons the perverted cross (the swastika) was paraded en-mass in pre-war Germany.”
Equal opportunity commissioner Niki Vincent told Adelaide’s InDaily: “The distribution of leaflets that make such ignorant and damaging comments is very disturbing.
“We know the prevalence of suicide in these communities is much higher than in others because it is such a huge thing to be struggling with your identity. For people who are struggling with their identity … that’s just cruel.
“They have enough challenges without getting that in their personal letterbox.”
But South Australian Law Society president Tim White said the leaflets are not actually illegal, and that Australia’s anti-discrimination laws are inadequate for combatting anti-LGBT+ hate speech.
White said: “Australia’s discrimination laws are a patchwork of various pieces of legislation that are not unified by an overarching statement of principles, resulting in a sizeable legal grey area in which several forms of discriminatory behaviour sit.
“Hate speech laws in Australia are confined to vilification on the basis of race, colour or ethnicity under the Racial Discrimination Act – but there are no specific laws that protect other groups from hate speech.”
While Australia does have anti-discrimination protections for LGBT+ people, they were designed to prevent discrimination in in areas employment and housing and do not protect LGBT+ people from hate speech.
White recommended: “Consideration should be given to a mechanism, such as a charter of rights, to provide clarity around the human rights protections that people should be entitled to.”
Australian LGBT+ campaign group Just.equal has also previously called for a similar charter, saying it was “the best way to protect genuine religious freedom and LGBTIQ equality”.
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