Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Australia: Override hate speech laws to allow marriage equality debate, urges Christian lobby

Australian Christian Lobby says ‘low threshold’ of state laws is creating a ‘chilling effect on free speech’ in lead-up to national plebiscite on whether to allow homosexual marriage

The Australian Christian Lobby has called on the federal government to permanently override anti-discrimination laws to ensure those pushing for a no vote can speak their mind on same-sex marriage.

The ACL’s managing director, Lyle Shelton, said he was concerned state anti-discrimination laws in particular had a low threshold which would prevent a rigorous no campaign in the lead-up to a plebiscite.

“We need to have the ability for a free debate in this plebiscite and at the moment, state-based anti-discrimination laws have a very low threshold for what constitutes discrimination,” Shelton told Guardian Australia. “It is creating a chilling effect on free speech.”

Shelton said he wanted the anti-discrimination legislation relaxed permanently rather than just in the lead-up to the vote on same-sex marriage.

He said the case of Archbishop Julian Porteous, who last year was the subject of a complaint to Tasmania’s anti-discrimination commissioner after an anti-marriage equality booklet published by the Catholic church was distributed to 12,000 schools, was an example of why the law had a “low threshold”.

“The booklet they produced about marriage was gentle and respectful,” Shelton said. “A lot of people are very concerned that if it can happen to Archbishop Porteous it can happen to anyone.

“Already if you speak out you’re called a bigot or a homophobe. Just look at my Twitter feed. I’m constantly demonised.”



Anonymous said...

Homosexuals and their fellow travelers do not want equality, they already have the same rights and restrictions as everybody else, they want special privileges for their repugnant, perverse sexual activities.

Bird of Paradise said...

These rainbow freaks want to crush anyone who disagrees with their dirty lifestyles and especialy with the radical group ACT-UP

Anonymous said...

So 2:47 - your comment sounds like you feel restricted from marrying someone you're not allowed to - (equal in misery) !

Anonymous said...

Once we were a democracy in Australia and the the Greens came along and Labor joined in their parade. Now we are stuffed as free speech is unheard of in the so called free press and the socialist government media. The sad thing is that due to the misapplication of free speech only the socialist government media can indulge in free speech which the reserve to attack conservative governments.

Spurwing Plover the fighting Shorebird said...

Anon 2:54 We calls them Watermellons Green on outside red inside