• Grindr (Source: Grindr) (Grindr)Source: Grindr
A recent bust up between Penny Wong and the Greens has broken out over the minor party’s Grindr advertising campaign in Melbourne.
Ben Winsor

28 Jun 2016 - 12:54 PM  UPDATED 28 Jun 2016 - 12:54 PM

In an effort to pull gay men away from sitting Labor MP David Feeny in the Melbourne seat of Batman, Greens’ candidate Alex Bhathal has launched a targeted ad on Grindr - a gay meet-up smartphone app.

Under the heading “Don’t get screwed!” the ad reads, "Labor's MP for Batman David Feeney has never voted in support of marriage equality. This election - vote for your rights. Vote 1 Greens".

That has Labor Senator and marriage equality supporter Penny Wong angry. 

In a tweet last night, Senator Wong accused the Greens of playing dirty tricks, saying David Feeney was a “strong ally” on marriage equality.

But while that might be Mr Feeney's public position, his record is less than stellar.

In 2013 the Melbourne MP made a public pledge to support Marriage equality, but was absent on other business for a 2012 vote on the matter.

“I have been particularly struck by the testimony of same-sex couples about their desire to see their relationships treated with the same dignity and respect as heterosexual relationships,” he said in a letter expressing his support for marriage equality in 2011. 

But despite that, Mr Feeney voted against measures to recognise foreign same-sex marriages from overseas and a motion that would have congratulated the UK for legislating for same-sex marriage.

The Catholic MP supports a conscience vote within the Labor Party on the issue, in opposition to others who argue that all MPs should be bound to support.

“[MPs] should not be forced to choose between their deeply held religious convictions and their loyalty to Labor,” he wrote.

This isn't the first race in which Grindr has been used to target the gay vote. Greens candidate in the seat of Higgins in Melbourne, Jason Ball, has also said he plans to place ads on Grindr.

Labor used the application in the 2015 NSW state election and the Greens used the application in the 2014 Victorian state election.

It’s also been used by independent candidates, Sex Party candidates, and candidates running for office overseas.

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