FEDERAL MPs advocating same-sex marriage have received a barrage of hate mail, including accusations they are supporting sexual dysfunction and taking away free speech.
Several MPs from all sides of politics, including senior ministers Penny Wong and Anthony Albanese, Labor MP Stephen Jones, Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young and New South Wales Liberal MP Catherine Cusack, have received angry responses to their support for same-sex marriage.
Deputy leader of the Greens Adam Bandt described some of his correspondence as ''vitriolic''.
Illustration: Matt Golding.
''It is unfortunate that supporters of equal love are the target of abuse, and I hope it doesn't become an inevitable part of the path to equality,'' he said.
Some politicians told The Sunday Age they have been upset by the level of abuse in some correspondence. Many expect more vitriol when Parliament starts to debate the legislation on same-sex marriage later this year. While many writers put their names to letters, others were posting anonymous abusive comments on social networking sites.
''The attacks and homophobia we have all experienced on Twitter, Facebook and the street will not deter us from standing up for what is right,'' Mr Bandt said.
Some material seen by The Sunday Age cannot be quoted because of its graphic nature. One of the letters sent to a Labor MP accused her of trying to promote ''unhealthy addictions''.
''A small minority of heterosexuals fail their biological reality and as a consequence of dysfunctional experiences, developmental and emotional immaturity become addicted to homosexual practices,'' the letter said. ''Unhealthy addictions need healthy solutions and redefining marriage will not heal biological self-deception and self-delusional fantasies.''
Another letter said MPs were trying to indoctrinate children ''with compulsory homosexual propaganda in violation of parental rights''.
A Senate committee examining the gay marriage legislation received more than 75,000 submissions, forcing it to delay the its report. Although Labor last year changed its platform to support gay marriage, MPs will be given a conscience vote on the subject. Coalition leader Tony Abbott has committed the opposition to voting against the legislation. The NSW Legislative Council passed a motion last month calling for legalisation of gay marriage. Unlike the federal Liberal Party, the NSW Liberals allowed a conscience vote on the issue.
..............A very proud day for my country......... sigh..........