Police Ask Protestors to Remove Anti-Abbott T-Shirts

Abbott TshirtPolice attending today’s rally for marriage equality asked protestors wearing T-shirts with the slogan ‘F..k Tony Abbott’ to remove them.

A spokesperson for WA Police has confirmed with OUTinPerth that people were asked to remove the T-shirts as the word ‘f..k’ was deemed offensive in an area where they were children present.

WA Police say the political nature of the T-shirts was of no interest to officers, and nobody was forced to remove their shirt.

Equal Love Convener Sam Cavallaro, who was on stage at the moment police began approaching people about the shirts, seized upon the moment asking protestors;

“Who hear thinks that Tony Abbott denying rights for LGBT people is more offensive than a little four letter swear?”

“They told me to cover it up or take it off,” said Alex Kemp who was wearing one of the t-shirts. “They said it was because of the kids.”

It is estimated that more than  20 people were wearing the T-shirts.

Later when a protestor asked police officers why they t-shirts were offensive, stating “Surely kids are familiar with that word already?”, turning to a group of skateboard holding teenagers nearby, she asked if they had come across the four letter word before? Comically the teenagers replied that they had not heard of the word before.

In September Queer students at Macquarie University were treated with arrest over identical t-shirts. On that occasion security at the University said they had received complaints from students that t-shirt made them feel unsafe and that the language on the t-shirts was offensive.

Rodney Croome, National Director of Australian Marriage Equality has previously published an open letter asking protestors not to wear the anti-Abbott t-shirts.

“It is a double standard to attack Mr Abbott in a way his predecessor, Julia Gillard, was not. This tars the marriage equality movement with the brush of partisanship.

“It is also a double standard to demand respect for same-sex relationships without showing the same respect in return, including to those who are oppose legal equality.

“The attack on Mr Abbott fails to give him credit for the steps he has taken on the issue.

“While he continues to oppose marriage equality, he has acknowledged that supporters of reform are genuine in our conviction.

“How can we expect Mr Abbott’s Liberal Party colleagues to evolve on marriage equality when his engagement with the issue is met with abuse?”

OIP Staff

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