Australia: The controversial past of mother-of-four who appeared in advertisement against same-sex marriage

A SCHOOL principal has hit back at claims made by a mother who featured in the first TV ad for the no campaign on same-sex marriage.

 Mother-of-four Cella White appeared in the ad that aired last night, telling viewers that her son’s school told him “he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it”. It’s not the first time she has spoken out about the issue, Ms White previously featured in the media after withdrawing her children from Frankston High School in 2016 due to concerns over the Safe Schools program.

In a video released in 2016 telling her story, Ms White claims her son was told at school he could wear a dress. But principal of Frankston High John Albiston has disputed Ms White’s story.

“We checked with all the teachers, it never happened,” he told Fairfax.

Meanwhile the Coalition for Marriage, who commissioned the video, has attacked the response of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to the ad. Mr Shorten said the ad was “offensive and hurtful to LGBTI Australians and their families”.

Another one of the mothers featured in the video has been revealed as Sale City Builders Church pastor Heidi McIvor, who said: “Kids in year 7 are being asked to role play being in a same-sex relationship”. The ad also features the message: “in countries with gay marriage, parents have lost their rights to choose”.

When asked about the claims in the ad, a Safe Schools Coalition Australia spokeswoman said the All Of Us unit guide was written by education experts.

“If teachers decide to use this resource, school leadership must obtain consent from the relevant parental body,” she said. “We do not advocate for specific policies, but instead work with teachers to build a safer, more inclusive environment for their students at school leadership’s discretion.”

Meanwhile members of the vote Yes campaign have been critical of the television ad linking gender education with the issue of marriage equality. Equality Campaign executive director Tiernan Brady told the “ad is disgraceful in its dishonesty”.

“The people behind this ad know that the Australian people are for allowing all Australians the right to marry so they want to desperately pretend this simple straightforward question is about something else,” Mr Brady said. Read more via