SMS campaign for marriage equality was wrong way to go, says Laming

MARRIAGE EQUALITY: MP Andrew Laming declines to say what his position is on the marriage equality debate.
MARRIAGE EQUALITY: MP Andrew Laming declines to say what his position is on the marriage equality debate.

BOWMAN MP Andrew Laming has attacked marriage equality campaigners for using an SMS campaign, saying many people were irate at being woken on Sunday night by the texts.

Mr Laming said the SMS ploy was a rookie error.

He supported SMS campaigning but only if campaigners knew who the recipient was.

“These guys didn’t,” he said. “There must be an ability to respond and an opt out. These guys didn’t offer it.”

Mr Laming said he was the largest user of texting nationwide of all MPs and the yes campaign messages should have been set so they did not trickle out overnight.

“In this campaign where virtually everyone knows where they stand, SMS is mostly ineffective and certainly annoys plenty,” he said.

Marriage equality activist Michael Burge said Mr Laming should not wonder why marriage equality supporters used a variety of campaigning techniques to ensure rights were upheld, given the expensive postal survey was his idea.

“When he conducted his annual survey, the process was always highly questionable, including the publication of running tallies, only one vote per household and unscrutinised counting,” he said.

“The government's survey has been particularly unwelcome in millions of households across the country, so anyone upset about an unsolicited SMS should direct their annoyance to the government, who went ahead with a public vote despite a majority against it in the Senate and the LGBTIQ community.

“If Mr Laming is so convinced that an SMS campaign is ineffective ... why are we even having his government's survey?”

Unlike Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other leading politicians, Mr Laming declined to say how he would vote, saying he would “march to Canberra and vote according to the verdict of Redland city”.

“Because I committed complete impartiality on this matter, I am not making my personal vote publicly known,” he said.

“My intention is not to egg on one side of the debate if I have committed to voting the Redlands way in parliament.”

Mr Burge said that given Mr Laming had dodged leadership on the issue it was no surprise he did not have the courage tell constituents how he voted.

“At least we know he has no control over the outcome in this survey,” he said.

Resident Neil Bromley said he was disgusted that people should be subjected to unsolicited SMS intrusion.

Mr Bromley said marriage should be between a man and a woman as defined in the Bible

“The people promoting the yes vote appear to be able to say and do as they please with no recriminations what-so-ever yet those opposing the whole stupid mess are ostracised and held up to contempt.

“The truth of the matter is that those wanting the yes vote already are able to marry and have more rights than most normal Christian people who believe that a marriage is as the Bible and Oxford dictionary describe it.”