A dog in Australia ‘came under attack for wearing a marriage equality scarf’

A dog wearing a marriage equality scarf in Australia was the victim of an attempted attack, according to the pet’s owner.

Claire Sutherland, a journalist living in Melbourne, said a man shouting homophobic slurs tried to kick her dog as the animal’s sitter walked him in a park.

Mack, the dog in question, escaped without harm – but it left Sutherland wondering: “Honestly Australia, have we really reached the ‘shouting at dogs’ stage of the marriage equality debate. How did we get here?”

Australians are currently taking part in a postal survey – essentially a non-binding referendum – on whether the country should allow same-sex marriage.

Sutherland explained that recently her dog has been sporting a marriage equality scarf around his neck, and while tensions between the Yes and No sides of the survey have been high, she was shocked by the man’s behaviour.

“Mack was running around the oval and approached a man walking alone. He didn’t rush him or jump on him, but to my dog sitter’s absolute astonishment, the man did what thankfully turned out to be a fresh air kick at Mack,” Sutherland wrote in Melbourne’s Herald Sun.

She added: “He then turned to our dog sitter, abusing her with homophobic slurs. He called her a ‘perverted f****** poofter’, a degenerate and dangerous, while referencing the same-sex marriage survey.”

Despite the incident, Sutherland said she won’t “equate the way this ninny behaved with the No campaign as a whole”.

Results from the postal survey will be known in November, and parliament is expected to hold a free vote on the issue if the survey result is Yes.

As politicians continue trying to win people over to their side, former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances this week weighed in, fronting a Yes campaign video.

Her father has been vocal in opposition of gay marriage.

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