GetUp! pulls petition against GP Pansy Lai who appeared in marriage ad

The Australian, Dennis Shanahan

GetUp! has pulled a petition seeking the deregistering of a Sydney doctor because she appeared in an advertisement opposing same-sex marriage declaring it “inappropriate content”.

GetUp! – which facilitated the petition and described it as “powered by GetUp!” immediately distanced itself from the petition after the revelation this morning in The Australian.

The petition, which gathered more than 5000 signatures over the past five days, sought to have Sydney GP Pansy Lai face formal complaints to the Australian Medical Association and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority for her deregistration and banning from practice as a doctor.

Dr Lai appeared as one of three mothers in the Marriage Coalition television advertisement promoting the No case against same-sex marriage and criticising fluid gender theory in schools.

The petition accused her of a breach of ethics for supporting traditional marriage and endangering the lives of young people.

Dr Lai told The Australian she was alarmed by the petition which attempted to cut off her livelihood and was a threat to freedom of speech.

This morning GetUp! said there had been dozens of complaints about the petition and was “found to be in breach” of the terms and conditions for petitions facilitated by GetUp! and the petition organisation CommunityRun.

“CommunityRun campaigns are not run or endorsed by GetUp!,’’ a spokesman told The Australian this morning. “This is made clear on the home page and ‘about us’ page of the CommunityRun website.

“CommunityRun is a decentralised platform — much like YouTube or — where any member of the public can upload a petition,” he said.

“GetUp! does not support a petition targeting Dr Pansy Lai, which was uploaded over the weekend, nor did GetUp! endorse or organise it. The petition received dozens of complaints, which triggered a review process. Following the review, the petition was found to breach CommunityRun’s terms and conditions and was taken down on Monday morning.

“GetUp! remains opposed to a plebiscite for many reasons, and condemns personal attacks against individuals on either side of the campaign,” he said.

The Coalition for Marriage told The Australian the petition was a threat to all doctors who spoke out and an attempt to stifle freedom of speech.

AMA president Michael Gannon had earlier expressed disappointment over the petition, and panned any suggestion that Dr Lai could be disbarred.

“The regulator and the medical board cannot decide to take someone’s livelihood away from them because they have a different point of view to the one they hold,” he said.


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