The upcoming marriage plebiscite has seen all sorts of people crawl out of the woodwork. While some are criticising the plebiscite for the fact that it’s a non-binding waste of taxpayer’s money, there are some who are using it as an opportunity to share some of their more extreme viewpoints, as the ABC found out yesterday.
As Junkee reports, ABC 774’s Mornings with Jon Faine was conducting an interview with Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Kristen Hilton.
While taking calls, one caller named Don rang into the studio to ask why Kristen Hilton was advocating a ‘yes’ vote, when as a government official, she should theoretically be neutral. “I think it’s disgusting that she gets out and says ‘we are going to support the yes vote’, instead of saying ‘we haven’t got an opinion one way or the other’,” said Don.
After Kristen Hilton explained her stance, which was based around the fact as an Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, it is her role to fight discrimination and promote equality, Don disagreed, at which point Jon Faine attempted to finish up the call.
However, Don wasn’t done, and after asking to say one more thing, he came out with a rather shocking statement: “Hitler had put all those kind of people in their own concentration camps – it’s one of the two good things he did.”
Host Jon Faine was understandably shocked and taken aback, and after incredulously asking Don to repeat himself twice (at which point Don clarified that the other good thing he believes that Hitler did was building the Autobahn), he terminated the call.
In a statement to Junkee, Executive Director of the Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady, noted that the call was a reminder as to why there needs to be a respectful debate about marriage equality.
“This type of comment is repugnant to almost every Australian and the values of respect and fairness that have underpinned our nation,” Tiernan Brady said.
“We must never forget that this is a survey about real people’s lives. It is about the members of our families, our friends, neighbours and workmates who just happen to be gay and simply wish to have the same status and dignity in law. The Equality Campaign will not be provoked. We remain totally committed to a campaign of respect and dignity that aims to unite Australians not divide them.”
We’ve decided not to include the call here, but if you’d like to listen to the call in question, you can do so by heading over to Rewind Radio.