A Chinese-born Australian doctor is one of three faces of a controversial anti-gay marriage ad that aired in Australian TV on Tuesday night.
The ad is the first of the “No” campaign, which seeks to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country.
Dr. Pansy Lai, a general practitioner based in Sydney, recently founded an association called the Australian Chinese for Families. She advocates against same-sex marriage and Australia’s Safe Schools program, which aims to prevent bullying of homosexual and transgender students in the country.
In the video, Dr. Lai claimed that such controversial programs had become compulsory: “When same-sex marriage passes as law overseas, this type of program become (sic) widespread and compulsory.”
“I was bullied when I first came to Australia and there were people who yelled across the playground to me and said ‘go back to where you came from’. We don’t want any kids to be bullied, transgender kids, kids from ethnic backgrounds, we don’t want anyone to be bullied. But I’m just not sure if Safe School is the answer to that.”
Last year, Dr. Lai made it to the headlines after leading a 17,500-signature petition against the program, arguing that it discriminates against Chinese culture.
“Safe Schools is promoting views on gender and sexuality that Chinese parents find extreme,” she said. “Chinese people really value family relationships, and we expect to pass on our family values to the next generation. It’s a parent’s right to teach sexual education to our children.”
Beside Dr. Lai, Heidi McIvor, a pastor, and Cella White, a schools activist, appeared in the 30-second video that reportedly costs AU$35,000 (US$27,000) each night it airs, the Daily Mail said.
The ad has since been slammed by critics, including Tiernan Brady, executive director of the Equality Campaign, who called it “disgraceful and dishonest.”
He told Fairfax Media via the Sydney Morning Herald:
“The people behind this ad know that the Australian people are for allowing all Australians the right to marry, so they have resorted to misleading people, to pretend this is about something else. Sadly, over the next few weeks, the Australian people will get used to this daily dose of red-herrings and lies, served up by a bucketful of cash. As the ‘no’ side seek to divide Australians, we will continue to seek to unite them.”
Check out the controversial ad below: