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Citizens in Victoria woke up surprised to find anti-LGBTQ literature in their mailbox. That’s because the Australia Post accidentally sent out 60,000 pamphlets comparing LGBTQ citizens to Nazis.
Adelaide street preacher Kevin Bickle created the flyer, titled “The Death of Reason… and the rainbow walk to insanity!” and commissioned the postal service to send copies of it across neighborhoods in Melbourne’s St Kilda and the Victoria’s Shepparton. The cover shows rainbow flags and a rainbow crosswalk leading to Sydney’s Taylor Square, where Nazi swastika flags adorn a building. The pamplet’s inside proves just as controversial: Bickle claims the “pornography of power that is state propaganda” has changed “from Nazi political perversion into perverted gay activism for abnormal ‘marriage’ equality.”
The flyer was sent via the Australia Post’s Unaddressed Mail Service, in which people and organizations can pay to have material sent to homes through the Australia Post. The Post’s terms of service enforces “acceptable community standards of reasonableness, honesty, and decency,” and the Post can refuse delivery of materials that break those terms. In this case, Bickle’s tract seems to have slipped through the cracks. In part because it was sent inside envelopes.
“As soon as we became aware of the contents of this flyer, we immediately withdrew it from distribution from our delivery network because it is against our terms and conditions,” an Australia Post spokesperson explained to BuzzFeed News.
The tract is promotion for a website that serves as a “handbook for Christian radicals,” run by Bickle, along with other street preachers. Bickle defends the pamphlet’s arguments, saying that he is “talking against homosexuality, but not against the homosexuals.”
“The tract is not a simile between LGBT people and Nazism. I would never do that,” Bickle told BuzzFeed. “It’s just a look at the means by which consumerism promotes things through mass media that extrapolates the effects in our day and age.”
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation Commission’s chair, Dvir Abramovich, sharply criticized the flyer. He considers its distribution invasive, pointing out how its “message of hate” can prove intimidating to queer readers.
“It shocks the conscience that such virulently anti-gay rhetoric has invaded the homes of residents in Melbourne, promoting its message of hate and exploiting the Holocaust to demonize the LGBTQI community and those supporting marriage equality,” Abramovich said to BuzzFeed News. “Imagine the fear and intimidation a young person will feel after being confronted with such repulsive slurs.”
Gay marriage remains a hotly contested issue in Australia, as the Australian Parliament has stalemated in passing same-sex marriage legislation. In the meantime, one lesbian couple has “wed” under a legal contract that grants many of the same benefits as marriage in all but the name.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.