A mother featured in the controversial ‘say no to same-sex marriage’ TV advertisement has been revealed to not be just any concerned parent - but has featured before in media slamming what she describes as ‘inappropriate’ support services for LGBTQ+ students.
In 2016, mother-of-four, Cella White, dramatically withdrew her children from Frankston High School, saying the Safe Schools program would expose her daughter to ‘male genitals’ and that her son with learning disabilities was told he could wear a dress.
‘It’s warping their children’s way of thinking,’ she claimed in the Herald Sun, accusing the program of ‘sexualising’ children, and exposing them to abuse.
In the anti-marriage equality video, Ms White says: 'The school told my son that he could wear a dress to school next year if he wanted.'
But Frankston High School’s principal at the time, John Albiston, says that the Safe School program was focused on informing staff about issues affecting LGBTQ+ students in order to better support them, and that Ms White's claims were false, reports The Age.
'We checked with all the teachers, it never happened,' he told the publication.
'I have never had any complaints that we advised the boys they could wear dresses. We didn't offer them that option.'
Moreover, he says that Ms White never brought her concerns to the school administration.
'You would think if she was so concerned she would have raised it.
'Why would this so-called incident that never happened have anything to do with marriage equality?'
Tiernan Brady, the executive director of the Equality Campaign, told news.com.au that the current tactic used by ’no’ campaigners like Cella White is to intentionally bring up gender education to confuse the simple question of marriage equality.
‘The people behind this ad know that the Australian people are for allowing all Australians the right to marry so they want to desperately pretend this simple straightforward question is about something else,’ he says.
This article first published on New Idea.