The electoral watchdog has received complaints about the "Vote No" skywriting over Sydney on the weekend not being properly authorised.
A grassroots campaigner against same-sex marriage commissioned a pilot to write "Vote No""Vote No" in the sky four times on Sunday, a day after the anti same-sex marriage campaign launched nationally.
The skywriting, which was not organised by the key "no" case group Coalition for Marriage, attracted much discussion on social media, and the website from which it was crowdfunded was inundated with comments.
The Australian Electoral Commission has received a number of complaints regarding the skywriting.
Many were outraged seeing 'Vote No' written in the sky. Source: Twitter
But an AEC spokesman told AAP on Monday the "safeguards" laws passed by parliament did not apply to this type of communication.
"It is only material that is capable of containing authorisation details that is regulated by the Act," the spokesman said.
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is encouraging a "yes" vote, told reporters people were entitled to express their views.
"If you want people to respect your point of view you've got to be prepared to respect theirs," Mr Turnbull said.
The Daily Mail reports according to flight tracking information, it's understood a Cessna owned by Skywriting Australia was the company behind the message in the sky.
Social media users quickly began circulating the company’s contact information, abusing them for taking on the job.
One message said the business owner is an “a***hole”.
Another post said it was “probably the end of your business”.
One text message to the business owner read "you really are a sh** human. You’re definitely the biggest piece of sh** in Australia today. Probably tomorrow too. Hope you’re proud of yourself. Don’t be surprised by the hate coming for you. Titt for tatt, it’s only fair, right? You stupid, ignorant, remorseless, pathetic, old, LOSER”.
It appears the skywriting was funded through a GoFundMe page, set up by a "group of likeminded Australians on social media", the page says.
"It’s time for traditional Australians to take a stand! We have been bullied into silence, condemned for our views.
"Enough is enough! It’s time we all sent a clear message that we will not put up with our way of life being deconstructed any further!"
The skywriting was funded by a GoFundMe account. Source: GoFundMe
Over $3000 has been raised so far, with one woman donating $1000 to the cause.
The group posted an update saying "the gofundme site has decided to Freeze our funds, until we give our names and locations".
"We are obviously keen to stay fairly anonymous due to the sheer amount of hate and threats we have received on this campaign by those who mask their hate with 'Equality'."
The page has been inundated with messages of condemnation.
"What an awful thing to shove down people's throats," one person said.
"Every time you see a rainbow it's Invisible Sky Jeebus saying he's for same sex marriage," another person wrote.
Many were quick to label the campaign "pathetic" and "hateful".
"Wow. I feel sorry for all of you. What an awful way to live your lives. I can't imagine being so hateful," someone else said.
The Coalition for Marriage updated its website over the weekend to comply with the need for authorisation under the safeguards laws, but won't face any penalty.
"As the legislation only came into operation late last week and the website is now compliant, the AEC does not propose to take any action," the AEC spokesman said.
My friend's 4 year old nephew just asked his two mums what the sky writing above Sydney says. ]]>💔🌈