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How one bit of junk mail is upsetting a whole community

IN THE MAIL: The Coalition for Marriage distributed the leaflet titled
IN THE MAIL: The Coalition for Marriage distributed the leaflet titled "three ways marriage will change the classroom". Helen Speletis

ANY other glossy junk mail leaflet stuffed in letter boxes and under front doors would get chucked in the bin but a single page of "propaganda" has gone a long way in upsetting a whole community.

Ipswich resident Zak William is part of that community. He had a rude shock waiting for him when he returned home from a run this week.

The Coalition for Marriage distributed the leaflet titled "three ways marriage will change the classroom".

Mr William has a unique perspective on the same sex marriage survey, having in the past belonged to the Catholic Church and shared traditional marriage beliefs.

He says all that has changed and now he is part of the same gay community impacted by marriage equality and the "frustrating" junk mail left in Ipswich mail boxes, as the surveys are delivered.

"I was a practising Catholic for a long time and about seven years ago, I stopped going to mass and going to church and socialising with the group of people," he said.

"I have nothing to do with the Catholic Church any more. I was 19 when I walked away.

"I didn't want to be identified as someone who belonged to a particular faith that would wish ill on me or people like me."

Mr William said the Coalition for Marriage leaflet contained derogatory and misleading information.

"I read through some and I was quite frustrated. These people are saying more people are going to be confused about it and they don't think there should be a right to do such a thing, that it's wrong, against religious beliefs and against the church," he said.

"There was so much propaganda it wasn't funny.

"I believe a majority of it is not true, it's defaming our community and by that I mean the gay community.

"I don't think it's called for.

"Just because you don't understand something or believe in it, doesn't mean the rest of the population don't.

"These people, who are taking it upon themselves to dictate what people believe, are quite offensive.

"We are normal people who lead normal lives. We work. We pay taxes. We're no different to anyone else, I don't see the need for the offensive wording."

Mr William said he was particularly passionate about the same-sex marriage survey, having experienced both perspectives of the debate.

He wants to share the same rights as other partnerships.

"I for a long time very much believed marriage was between and man and a woman. As time has gone on I have listened to both sides of the argument and I think it would be nice to have the right to get married or to have a union," he said.

"At the end of the day it's a commitment between two people, for some people it's just a piece of paper but for me it's a lifetime commitment.

"I am passionate about it because my views have changed. I would like to get married or have a civil union one day. I don't agree why some people think they have the right to refuse me or anyone else.

"We should have the same rights as anyone else. It's frustrating."

November 7 is the last day for Australians to have their same-sex marriage survey returned to the ABS.

Topics:  editors picks ipswich same sex marriage



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