Tasmania’s Education Minister has quashed a suggestion made by a fellow senior minister that homosexual intercourse would be taught in schools if same-sex marriage was legalised.
Guy Barnett made the claim when he spoke at a Coalition for Marriage Tasmania event last week.
In his speech, he said the experience from overseas suggested that same-sex marriage was the beginning of an erosion of parental rights, inappropriate sexual education in schools, and freedom of speech.
Mr Barnett said the concept of gender fluidity would be soon "unleashed" on the community.
"If the law of the land is changed to legalise same-sex marriage, schools will be obliged to teach gay and lesbian sexual activity," he said.
"The biological necessities of having a mum and a dad to procreate life; this is going out the door under a new world where gender fluidity and gender neutrality is supremo."
Mr Barnett said the marriage debate had been held in a "hothouse of toxicity and intolerance".
"In fact, some hotels who have taken bookings for pro-marriage groups, have been boycotted … individuals and businesses have been bullied into silence and offices have been vandalised,” he said.
"Even our national carrier Qantas has been flexing its wings in an act of intimidation."
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the government would stick to what was laid out in its Respectful Schools initiative which had a section on professional dealings with LGBTI students.
“Of course that will not be changing; it is something I very much believe in,” he said.
Labor Leader Rebecca White described his comments as a “disgrace”.
“We need to lift the tone of the debate in Tasmania,” she said.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said she encouraged respectful debate on the same-sex marriage issue but many people would be concerned by Mr Barnett's speech.
“It’s one thing to express a view but it’s quite another thing to be dishonest and engaging in scare tactics,” she said.
Tasmanian marriage equality advocate Rodney Croome said the LGBTI community had worked for three years with the Education Department on shaping a policy that helped students deal with bullying and prejudice in schools.
"This work has nothing whatsoever to do with sex education and gender fluidity and Mr Barnett knows this because he is part of the government that approved it," he said.
"I am very disappointed that Mr Barnett seems to be misleading voters about what is, and will be, taught in Tasmanian schools in an effort to scare people away from voting "yes'."