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Opinion and Insight

The Royals' Nick Cummins Urges Creative Industry to Pledge Not to Work on Anti-Marriage Equality Campaigns

Launches 'Say No to No' honour roll

The Royals' Nick Cummins Urges Creative Industry to Pledge Not to Work on Anti-Marriage Equality Campaigns

By Nick Cummins (left), creative partner, The Royals

It looks like we are going to have a plebiscite in some form on marriage equality. And that means our LGBTQI friends are going to be surrounded by hurtful and potentially harmful messages. But as as a group of people who are in the business of making messages we can do something about this.

If we all come together as an industry and say No to making or publishing these messages we can have a huge positive impact. So a group of us have launched Say No to No. An honour role of companies and individuals who pledge they will not work on the harmful vote No campaign. So please take a moment and register your name as one of the companies or people who are taking a stand and support your LGBTQI colleagues, friends or family.

Australians have always been quick to define ourselves as Badge_2.jpga country where we help each other out. We pride ourselves on being fair - our national anthem even has it in the title, for God's sake. But when it comes to marriage equality somehow we have forgotten that a fair go for all is at our core. Even worse, our elected officials don't have the backbone to make the call on our behalf.

This means we are likely to have a plebiscite in some form. And with this plebiscite will come a whole lot of hurtful messages from the No campaigners. Messages that will upset many in our community. Messages that may push some of us into depression or, even worse, to take our own lives.

Depending on the research you look at, people who identify as being gay or lesbian are 3 to 4 times more likely to experience anxiety and/or depression, largely due to homophobic harassment and violence. A report called Growing Up Queer, conducted by the University of Western Sydney and Twenty10, proves that the unfair treatment of non-heterosexual people is a life-and-death matter. The study found 16 per cent of GLBTIQ young Australians had attempted suicide and a third had harmed themselves, largely again due to homophobic harassment.

Luckily we can do something. After all, we are in the business of making messages. Imagine if every agency, production company, sound designer or illustrator said No to working on these harmful ads. Imagine then our friends in media also standing up and saying No to the No campaign. And brands also joining in to pledge that no harmful ads will appear on their sites or channels.

Yes, the No campaigners will find a way to make their hurtful divisive messages. But we can make it difficult for them. And more importantly, we as an industry can show our friends in the non-heterosexual community that we still believe in them and in fairness.

Help stop the harmful messages and Say No to No.

Go to www.saynotono.com.au or send an email to hellyeah@saynotono.com.au and pledge that you won't work on the No campaign and tell us why. We will then add you to our honour roll and keep you up to date on how our movement is progressing.