MISSTEP?: Same-sex marriage campaigners sent out a mass text on Saturday (file photo).
MISSTEP?: Same-sex marriage campaigners sent out a mass text on Saturday (file photo). Jae C. Hong

OPINION: Copped an unwanted SMS? You'll be right m8

What ever happened to the tough Aussie battler?

The kind of no-fuss bloke or sheila who could take whatever life threw at them, cop it on the chin and just get on with the job.

If you were following the same-sex marriage debate over the weekend, you could be forgiven for thinking this character was a thing of the past.

Some of the people who appeared out of the woodwork seemed like they were barely able to keep it together.

I'm not talking about gay people.

Lord knows they've had enough said about them and how they should live their lives lately.

I'm talking about the people who complained bitterly about receiving an unwanted text message on Saturday afternoon.

The text was sent out by Australians for Marriage Equality, and read: "The Marriage Equality Survey forms have arrived! Help make history and vote YES for a fairer Australia. VoteYes.org.au"

I was the unwitting recipient of one of those messages.

Naturally I destroyed my phone, went looking for the culprit and decided to use my vote to deny a sizeable portion of Australian citizens the right to marry each other so I could get some sweet, sweet payback.

No, wait. I thought 'Huh. How about that?', closed the message, and forgot about it for the rest of the day.


BURQA BAN: Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen has follwed his call to 'ban the burqa' in Parliament House with a push to have facial coverings of all types banned from public places in the Whitsundays and Australia-wide.
Photo Peter Holt / Daily Mercury
BIG DEAL: Dawson MP George Christensen was among those calling for answers from the Yes campaign after the mass text. Peter Holt

If you don't want to receive unsolicited text messages, that's perfectly reasonable.

If you don't want your phone number floating around in a database that can be bought by political campaigns or businesses, that's even more reasonable (though the Yes camp maintains the numbers were generated randomly).

But don't tell me you've never seen a billboard you didn't like, or received a call from a group you didn't support.

If you were on the fence and an unwanted SMS is all it took to swing your vote, maybe ask yourself - were you really that on the fence in the first place?

If so, we can only hope someone who might have to vote on your legal rights in the future will have what it takes to hold the line a little longer.

Andrew Thorpe is a journalist at The Observer.