Tasmanian Liberal politician mocks anti-SSM colleagues with sheep analogy

Tasmanian Liberal politician mocks anti-SSM colleagues with sheep analogy

Tasmanian Liberal politician mocks anti-SSM colleagues with sheep analogy

Updated 21 September 2017, 22:20 AEST

Tasmanian MP Nic Street reprimands colleagues who warned "homosexual roleplaying" would be taught in schools if same sex marriage becomes legal, saying as a child he once played a sheep in a play but he has not felt compelled to "leap the fence ...

A Tasmanian Liberal backbencher has taken a thinly veiled swipe at his party colleagues who say "homosexual roleplaying" and "radical gay sex education" will be taught in schools if same sex marriage is legalised.

The claims about changes to the school curriculum should same sex marriage become legal have been made by Tasmanian conservative politicians during the national debate.

Senator Eric Abetz sent pamphlets to some constituents that said a consequence of changing the law to allow same-sex marriage would be "compulsory radical sex education".

He also said primary school children would be asked to "act out homosexual relationships".

Tasmanian Government Minister Guy Barnett told a gathering hosted by the Coalition For Marriage that schools would be obliged to teach gay and lesbian sexual activity if the law was changed.

In Parliament on Thursday, Franklin Liberal MP Nic Street reiterated that it would not be compulsory to teach gay sex education or for children to participate in same sex attracted role play activities.

"And as for people's concerns about role play, Madam Speaker ...who do they think plays Mary in a nativity play at an all-boys school?" he told the Lower House.

Mr Street said having portrayed a sheep in a nativity play as a child, he was confident role playing had no effect on future behaviour.

"And to this day I can drive the Midland Highway without having to pull my car over over, leap the fence in a single bound and munch the grass."

He some of the worst arguments against same sex marriage had revolved around children.

"Some of the lies and misleading statements that have been made have made are been breathtaking in both their ignorance and deliberate harm they have caused," he said.

Mr Street posted a video of his Parliament speech on his Facebook page with the comment "sometimes you just need to get something off your chest ... #voteyes".

Children of same sex parents 'like Stolen Generations'

In the debate, Braddon Liberal MP Joan Rylah said she would be vote no in the postal survey because of her belief of "freedom".

She also likened the children of same-sex parents to adopted children, donor-conceived children and the Stolen Generations, "who were removed and denied their genetic parents and family".

"The damage is life long as we well know, a huge black hole, a yearning that never leaves them," she said.

In a statement to the ABC, Aboriginal elder Rodney Dillon said linking the same-sex marriage debate was inappropriate.

"It is deeply offensive to Aboriginal people to try and compare that — they are two completely different things," he said.

"There was genocide on our people in our country, and what she is talking about is not genocide."

The debate came as Labor called for increased funding to the state's LGBTIQ counselling services.

Susan Ditter from Working It Out, a gender, sexuality and intersex support and education service, said demand had spiked since the debate around the same sex marriage postal survey started.

"We knew that people who are vulnerable would be impacted in relation to a no vote," she said.

"We are really busy ... in schools, where there is an additional burden on principals."

Ms Ditter said she had asked the Government for more money to cope with the demand.

"We do need more money because we are not keeping up with demand, and a situation like this increases demand," she said.

Premier Will Hodgman said the government was open to providing extra funding to LGBTI organisations to help people struggling with the same sex marriage debate.