A New Zealand brewery is causing controversy after releasing what is being called an anti-gay billboard on the heels of marriage equality legislation passing.
DB Breweries defended their Tui beer ad, claiming it was nothing more than “a long-standing joke around the uncertainty experienced by people whose parent has re-married, to include same-sex couples.”
“Dad’s new husband seems nice. Yeah right,” the billboard says.
On social media, many people called it “disgusting,” “offensive” and “homophobic” on the company’s Facebook page.
“I have always had a good giggle at your billboards as I drive down the Hutt motorway each morning, but I am pretty disgusted by the one I saw yesterday,” Facebook User Sophie Lockwood posted. “Homophobia in this day and age? Really??”
Other users and companies defended the ad as a joke, saying the “yeah right” slogan has been around since 1994.
“Given the recent passing of the Same Sex Marriage Bill in Parliament, this ‘Yeah Right’ line is a topical spin at the age-old situation of a parent’s new partner,” said Tui Marketing Manager William Papesch.
“Given the duration of this campaign and the quantity of ‘Yeah Right’ lines, occasionally there is the odd ‘Yeah Right’ line which doesn’t hit the mark in generating a smile for all.”
Facebook User Deklan Martin wrote: “As a gay man who has fought for equality all my life, I cannot believe the stupidity of people getting upset … to me it’s not anti-gay, if the billboard said ‘new wife’ no one would raise an eyebrow, why should ‘new husband’ be any different.”
New Zealand became the 13th country to approve marriage equality with a 77 to 44 vote, and the first country to legalize marriage equality in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Act will take effect sometime in August.