Dog with pro-gay marriage bandana kicked at by 'mouth-breathing cretin' in Australia

Mack the dog.
Mack the dog. Photo credit: Claire Sutherland / Twitter

Australia's marriage equality vote has been marred by tensions, and the latest spat has seen a dog at its centre.

Journalist Claire Sutherland says her pup, Mack, "unwittingly" entered in the same-sex marriage debate when he was being walked in the park by a dog-sitter, with a bandana around his neck supporting the "Yes" vote.

A man, whom she describes as a "mouth-breathing cretin", approached and shouted homophobic slurs before kicking at the dog, Ms Sutherland says.

She says the kick "thankfully" didn't land a hit, and Mack was none-the-wiser to the slurs.

"But honestly Australia, have we really reached the 'shouting at dogs' stage of the marriage equality debate? How did we get here?" she asked in a blog post after the incident.

"And yet here we are - where an idiot in a park seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that a dog can tie a bandana around his own neck, and may decide to put his paw print in the No box if only he's kicked hard enough."

The vote has cost more than AU$130 million, encouraging citizens to have their say, but has divided the nation between those who say gay people should be afforded equal marriage rights, and those who disagree.

New Zealand legalised same-sex marriage in 2013.