Devin Randall's picture

An AU Marriage Equality Ballot Is Earning Laughs For It's Gay Related Barcode

We’ve been in heated talk about Australia’s stance on same-sex marriage for what seems like forever now.

While this currently heated discussion about it may have started around the time that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream announced that they would be banning same flavor ice cream in their Australian stores, talk about the country’s stance on the issue have been going on for years now.

And with multiple people yelling out into the void of the internet from both sides of the issue, we sometimes forget to take a second and relax.

Luckily, a technical oversight did just the trick.

Jonathan Palmer is the deputy statistician for the Australian Bureau of Statistics or ABS. He was in charge of ensuring that every person who received a ballot to vote yes or no for marriage equality had a different bar code on their sheet.

But, it seems there is a kink in the system as a certain buzzword popped up on one person’s ballot.

This particular barcode was brought to the internet's attention by Adland senior executive Jess Wheeler, who claimed it belonged to a friend of his.

“@ABSStates I don’t think you guys are taking this thing seriously,” he wrote.

As for how “BUMSEX” ended up in someone’s barcode, Palmer states that there was a chance this sort of thing could happen.

“The ABS acknowledges that in issuing 16 million barcodes it did not check and remove words and phrases that may be offensive,” he stated.

"The codes were issued using an algorithm generating more than two quintillion combinations of letters and numbers in order to generate highly secure barcodes."

But, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s ironic considering the circumstances of the vote and it’s a nice relief from all the heated arguments.

In fact, once the photo hit the internet there were several people enjoying the joke of it all.

As one commenter stated, “Randomness is sometimes pretty awesome.”

And another added it would have been, “far more Australian had it been 'BUMSEXM8.”

And then there were even more comments on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s good to remember that even in heavy debate there can be some good moments of laughter and fun.