'How did you get my number?' Text message for 'yes' vote receives mixed response

Photo: Glenn Hunt
Photo: Glenn Hunt

Tens of thousands of marriage equality supporters kicked off a text message and doorknocking campaign this weekend encouraging people to vote 'yes' in the same-sex marriage postal survey.

On Saturday, people started receiving text messages on their mobile phones from YesEquality, which stated: "The Marriage Equality Survey forms have arrived! Help make history and vote YES for a fairer Australia. VoteYes.org.au"

But not everyone - regardless of their view on same-sex marriage - was happy to receive an SMS, with some expressing concern about how their phone numbers were obtained.

"I have never contacted, donated or been involved with either side of this campaign," Michael, who asked that his surname not be used, told Fairfax Media on Saturday.

"How did they get my unlisted mobile number? Why is my privacy being breached in the hope that I'll respond to a survey in a particular way ... What's the point of lobbying for extending some rights by ignoring others that are already legislated?"

One person said they had voted 'yes' but still had concerns about privacy.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Clint McGilvray said the texts had gone out to random computer-generated numbers.

Alex Greenwich from the Equality Campaign said: "The campaign is using every resource available to make sure fairness and equality are achieved for all Australians.

"The campaign has a responsibility to encourage every Australian to post their survey and we have done this through doorknocking, media, advertising, social media and SMS messaging.

"It's so important to reach as many Australians as possible and remind them this is a vote about fairness and ensuring every Australian is equal under the law."

Equality Campaign boss Tiernan Brady told reporters in Brisbane on Saturday, ahead of the annual Pride march, that the doorknocking campaign aimed to drum up support and ensure people mailed their responses on time.

On Friday, a Tasmanian man was charged for head butting former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He was wearing a 'yes' badge when he assaulted Mr Abbott but Mr Brady said people unrelated to both sides of the debate had done "stupid things".

The Coalition for Marriage held their Victorian campaign launch in Melbourne on Saturday night, ahead of rallies across the country in the coming week.

Security was tight at the campaign launch, but a small group of protesters managed to get inside. They unfurled a banner which read: "Burn churches not queers."

They were jeered from the crowd with calls of "get them out", before they were quickly ejected by security.

A speech by anti-Safe Schools campaigner Cella White was later disrupted by two women protesters who kissed on stage before being dragged away by security.

Ms White, who has appeared in a Coalition for Marriage ad, is accused of falsely claiming her son was told he could wear a dress to Frankston High School.

The results of the survey on same-sex marriage are due on November 15.

with AAP

This story 'How did you get my number?' Text message for 'yes' vote receives mixed response first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.