Former Labor senator Joe Bullock, who resigned from his role in Parliament because of the party’s platform to commit to a binding vote on marriage equality in 2019, has been revealed as one of the donors to the No campaign.

The National Civic Council, a conservative Christian lobby group founded by B.A. Santamaria in the 1940s, publishes a weekly magazine called News Weekly. The September 9 edition features a list of donors to its campaign to fight against marriage equality, which includes Bullock, with a donation of $100. The “fighting fund” is off to a flying start, according to the National Civic Council, with a total of $49,473 listed as donations so far.

The list of donors runs across two pages and includes reverends, the Carmelite sisters of Victoria and some businesses, although it is mostly personal donors. The National Civic Council’s donation push is separate to that of the Coalition for Marriage, the umbrella body led by the Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton. The Coalition for Marriage has its own donation campaign.

The area of donations to both sides has been fraught in the lead-up to the postal vote, with both sides of the debate claiming they will be outspent, and because the survey is run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, laws around donations may not apply.

While the campaign in favour of marriage equality has a long list of big name corporate backers, none of those have actually made big donations to the cause in the past two years, The Guardian reported on the weekend. Qantas boss Alan Joyce has said that he will make a substantial personal donation. 

Lyle Shelton told Fairfax last month the No campaign would focus on donations from “mums and dads”: “”We don’t have the support of corporate Australia like other [pro-same sex marriage] groups. This is a David v Goliath battle.”

The Greens have been criticised today for a website which asks for money for the marriage equality cause, but redirects to a general party donation website. A spokesperson says that while the funds will be in the same account as other donations, the money will be spent on the specific cause.

The magazine that includes Bullock’s donation also has a cover story by Chris McCormack titled “Our unsafe schools are putting students at risk” and it links the number of sexual assault incidents in schools with the Safe Schools anti-bullying program:

“The ‘Safe Schools’ program began in Victoria in 2010 and in NSW in 2014. Is the fact that Victoria was the first state to adopt the “Safe Schools” program a factor in the abnormally large proportion of Australian student-on-student sexual assault cases reported in that state?”

It then links Safe Schools with the upcoming postal survey:

“Once enacted into law, transgender “marriage” cannot be treated “less favourably” than heterosexual marriage. Transgenderism will be required teaching in schools and students identifying as other than their biological sex will legally be able use the toilets, changerooms and showers of the opposite sex and compete in sports teams of the opposite sex: for example, boys competing against girls as part of a girls’ football team.”