Sackings, sky-writing and see-through envelopes: The most controversial moments of the Yes and No campaigns

Australians will soon learn the results of the same sex marriage postal vote after months of passionate campaigning from both sides.

 

Nearly 80 per cent of eligible Australians took part in the voluntary poll and the outcome will be announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics at 10am on Wednesday.

The result will bring an end to the campaigning, which saw controversial skywriting, sackings, unsolicited texts and outrage over see-through envelopes.

Here's a look back at the most controversial campaign moments from the Yes and No voters.

Angry rival protesters clashed outside a Brisbane church, resulting in one woman being arrested. Photo: 7 News

'Vote No' skywriting

Last month, a skywriter was spotted writing 'Vote No' in the sky over Sydney in response to the campaign.

Many people expressed outraged online at the thought of someone paying a sky writer.

Last month, a skywriter was spotted writing 'Vote No' in the sky over Sydney in response to the campaign. Photo: Twitter

One Twitter user posted "and now there's a third," suggesting there was more than one controversial message scrawled in the sky.

Woman sacked over 'No' vote

The No campaigners were similarly outraged after a woman was sacked for changing her Facebook profile photo to include a Coalition for Marriage filter.

Madeline, 18, was fired as a contractor from an entertainment business in Canberra after she “made it public knowledge” that “it’s okay to vote no”.

Cella White claims her son was told he could wear a dress to school, in an anti-same sex marriage commercial. Photo: The Coalition for Marriage TV ad

The owner of the company, Madlin Sims, labelled Madeline as "homophobic" and accused her of "posting hate speech online."

"It's bad for business... I don't like s*** morals... I don't want homophobes working for me, especially in an environment with children," Ms Sims said.

Australians across the country received a SMS from Yes Equality urging them to vote "Yes" for same sex marriage. Picture: Facebook

Unsolicited same sex marriage texts

In September, people across the country reported receiving random text messages urging them to "Vote Yes."

Unsolicited messages were widely sent by "YesEquality," asking people to "Vote Yes for a fairer Australia".

Many took to Facebook and Twitter saying they felt "violated" and questioned how their phone numbers were obtained.

Envelopes for voting slips revealed to be see-through

After the votes were posted out, a photo was shared on social media showing the ticked 'no' box illuminated when it was held under light.

"So we have wasted $122 million on a survey where a torch can reveal the answer through the reply envelope it came with," the person who posted the photo wrote.

"Any angry postal worker with a vendetta against the opposing side can go through and remove votes as they see fit. Bravo government."

Australians said their same-sex marriage postal vote responses could be seen inside the envelope under light. Photo: Reddit

Vicious clash outside a church between rival voters

Protesters clashed outside the Brisbane church after the High Court announced the postal vote would go ahead.

The "yes" vote supporters donned rainbow clothes and signs during the rally and chanted: "Homophobia's got to go."

The opposing protesters were due to meet at the church and police were called to keep the two groups separate.

Police said one woman was arrested for obstructing officers and another suffered a minor injury.

Vote No mum claims son could wear a dress

Mum Cella White stepped into the debate, in the Coalition for Marriage's TV commercial, led by the Australian Christian Lobby, saying Frankston High School told her son he could wear a dress.

However, Frankston High School principal John Albiston dismissed the claims, saying the school did not have any openly transgender students, and teachers were consulted and he believed such a discussion "never happened," he told News.com.au.

The Coalition for Marriage's commercial prompted Education Minister Simon Birmingham to voice his disdain for the misleading claims.

"It is patently ridiculous to suggest that allowing same-sex couples to marry is somehow going to see some new wave of teaching reform sweep across the country," Senator Birmingham told the ABC.

Madeline was fired from her job for supporting the No vote. Source: The Bolt Report

Madlin Sims said she fired a staff member for saying 'it is okay to vote no'. Source: Facebook

Melbourne magazine store kicks out No voters

“If you vote ‘No' in the forthcoming plebiscite, please never visit our shop again,” the store, Sticky Institute, wrote on its Facebook page during the voting period.

Enraged social media users held no punches when delivering a string of scathing comments.

Sticky Institute, a Melbourne-based book store, said No voters were not welcome. Source: Facebook

“And there goes your business... first rule of owning a business is you don't discriminate. Money is money and it's hard enough breaking even without taking everything you can get," one person said.

Mum finds same sex marriage votes dumped in backyard

Primary school teacher Kerry Ford, of Melbourne, found the 17 envelopes addressed to neighbours stashed behind her carport, near her children’s cubby house.

Ms Ford, who is in a same-sex relationship, told The Age she wasn’t aware how the postal votes reached her backyard, but suspected someone had raided local letter boxes.

Our postal votes have also been stolen," she said.

The mother of two said she contacted the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which is coordinating the survey, and was instructed to hand in the papers to the local police.

Back To Top
feedback