First anti-gay marriage ad airs on Australian TV ahead of public vote - WATCH

The first TV advert encouraging Australians to vote against same-sex marriage has aired Down Under. Produced by Coalition for Marriage - the biggest behind the ‘No’ campaign - the 30-second clip has been accused of "scaremongering" after linking marriage equality to the education of school children. The advert, which aired on Tuesday evening, sees three mothers express 'concerns' about the effect of allowing gay people to marry on their children. It is first major piece of campaigning since the deadline to register to vote in the non-binding poll passed last week. In the clip, one woman says: "The school told my son he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it." Another adds: "When same-sex marriage passes as law overseas, this type of programme becomes widespread and compulsory." A third woman says: "Kids in year seven are being asked to roleplay being in a same-sex relationship”. The advert concludes with the message: "In countries with gay marriage, parents have lost their right to choose." By that, we can only assume they mean 'choose to be bigots'.   Australia's Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten has already denounced the "offensive and hurtful" advert. "This is not freedom of speech. This is freedom to hurt," he said. Last week, Kylie and Dannii Minogue became latest stars to urge Australians to back same-sex marriage Down Under, after Melbourne-born Chris Hemsworth previously urged fans to vote ‘Yes’ in the country’s upcoming vote. Meanwhile, US pop star Meghan Trainor has spoken out after her image was “illegally” used in an anti-gay marriage poster urging Australians to reject equality. The ‘All About That Bass’ singer took to social media last week (August 23) to reiterate her support for same-sex marriage, describing the inclusion of her image in the unofficial ‘No’ campaign artwork as “so wrong.” Australia’s historic poll will see citizens at home and abroad who were aged 18 before August 24 – the registration deadline – answer the question: ‘Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?’ The vote is not a plebiscite, and therefore citizens will not be compelled to vote and the result is not binding on politicians. Those wishing to vote are encouraged to return their voting forms by October 27, while ballots received after November 7 will not be counted. The result is expected to be made public on November 15, when hopefully we’ll all be celebrating another victory for love and acceptance. More stories: The best girl group singles of the last 25 years ranked Will & Grace: Major guest star set to return for revival