Gay marriage in Australia: Ad firm accused of trying to shut down debate with Say No to No campaign

Gay marriage in Australia: Ad firm accused of trying to shut down debate with Say No to No campaign. By Rebecca Urban.

A leading advertising agency behind­ the push for same-sex marriage­ has been accused of trying to shut down debate ahead of a postal plebiscite, after it called on its industry peers to refuse to work for companies campaigning against the cause.

The brainchild of Royals creat­ive partner Nick Cummins, the Say No To No campaign launched on Thursday and has already been backed by more than 500 employees from advertising agencies across the country as well as media companies, including Southern Cross Austereo and Buzzfeed.

While Mr Cummins defended the boycott, describing it as no different­ to refusing to work for a tobacco company, it has been criticised as an attack on free speech and democracy.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott said the initiative demonstrated that intolerance was at the heart of the same-sex marriage campaign. “Disagreement isn’t just wrong — it’s not allowed,” Mr Abbott told The Australian. …

Legal academic Augusto Zimmermann said the boycott, while not illegal, was “a serious display of undemocratic behaviour”.

hat-tip Stephen Neil