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Marriage Equality: Comedian Pens Powerful Plebiscite Message

Tasmania's homosexuality debate taught Hannah Gadsby to "rot quietly in self-hatred".

25/08/2016 9:05 AM AEST | Updated 25/08/2016 1:57 PM AEST
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Hannah Gadsby
Comedian Hannah Gadsby wrote that we should not forget the harshness of the debate to decriminalise homosexuality in the 1990s.

An Australian comedian has penned a heartfelt message about how the proposed marriage equality plebiscite could affect LGBTI Australians.

As debate rages about the timing and value of the plebiscite, Tasmanian comedian Hannah Gadsby compared ongoing debate to the "horrific bile" she was forced to listen to in the 1990s, when Tasmania debated whether to legalise homosexuality.

"I was the age when I should have been learning how to be vulnerable, how to handle a broken heart, how to deal with rejection and how to deal with all the other great silly things about young love which help pave the way to the more substantial adult version," she said.

"Instead I learnt how to close myself off and rot quietly in self-hatred. I learnt this because I learnt that I was subhuman during a debate where only the most horrible voices and ideas were amplified by the media.

"Every day of my life I deal with the effects of anxiety and low self esteem. It is not nearly as debilitating as it used to be but I don't imagine I will ever be truly free of it."

The post has been shared on Facebook more than 2800 times.

Gadsby has co-starred in Adam Hills Tonight and in the third season of the comedy Please Like Me.

On Wednesday Dr Grainne Healy, the co-director of Yes Equality in the 2015 Irish marriage equality refurendum, warned Australia's politicians of the risk of a "brutal" campaign like that experienced during ahead of Ireland's vote.

She urged Australia against a non-binding plebiscite.

Healy sent the letter to parliamentarians amid increasing opposition to the plebiscite from Labor, the Greens and Nick Xenophon's NXT party, who argue same sex marriage can be achieved though a free vote in parliament.

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