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Christian Lobby asks Govt to wind back Anti-discrimination Laws

February 16, 2016

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Hate Speech Is The “Risk You Take” For Free Speech, Says Christian Lobby

The Australian Christian Lobby is pushing the federal government to suspend anti-discrimination laws during a proposed national vote on same-sex marriage, Fairfax Media reported yesterday.

Managing director Lyle Shelton said that unless state and territory anti-discrimination laws are suspended, there is a “real threat” the case against same-sex marriage could not be made.

“It’s so important that at the end of this plebiscite, whoever wins or loses, that both sides know it’s been a fair process,” he said.

“If one side can’t talk freely during the debate, it’s going to be very hard for this to be seen as a fair result if it doesn’t go our way.”

Asked if he thought the proposal could encourage vilification and hate speech, Shelton said that possibility is “the risk you take” when it comes to free speech.

“I think we should always err on the side of free speech,” he said.

“If some people step over the line, I think we can handle that with an appropriate government response. I would be the first to condemn anything that was hateful or bigoted.”

Shelton referred to Archbishop Julian Porteous and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, who had a complaint lodged against them with the Tasmanian anti-discrimination commissioner.

The commissioner found they had a case to answer over a booklet titled “Don’t Mess With Marriage” distributed to Catholic school students.

Shelton rejected the idea that using the example of that case to suspend laws across the country was overreach.

“If you think about the effect that has on people on our side of the debate who want to participate in good faith, they’d rather not take the risk,” Shelton said.

“The logical option is to shut up and be quiet, and that’s what people are doing. They are genuinely afraid to speak.”

The ACL has been slammed for the controversial proposal, with many LGBTI people expressing fear that a suspension of such laws would lead to violence and vilification.

Rodney Croome of Australian Marriage Equality described the proposal as “concerning”, saying it is “impractical and unnecessary” to suspend anti-discrimination laws.

Greens senator Robert Simms said the ACL had “exposed its intention to run an ugly and discriminatory campaign” in the national vote.

“The ACL has a history of scraping the bottom of barrel and fanning the flames of hatred and division against LGBTI people,” he said.

Anti-discrimination law in Australia varies between jurisdictions, with all states and territories prohibiting discrimination of the grounds of sexuality to some degree.

Shelton declined to offer details of how his proposed override of anti-discrimination laws might work, saying “I’m not a lawyer”.

 

 

 

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 16, 2016 5:20 pm

    Rodney Croome of Australian Marriage Equality described the proposal as “concerning”…

    Marvellous understatement.

  2. TB Queensland permalink
    February 16, 2016 5:31 pm

    I can’t ever remember a law being suspended?

    “It’s so important that at the end of this plebiscite, whoever wins or loses, that both sides know it’s been a fair process,” he said.

    “If one side can’t talk freely during the debate, it’s going to be very hard for this to be seen as a fair result if it doesn’t go our way.”

    Unfknbelievable! They are so used to telling lies and bullshitting they want to do it even when the law says they can’t …

    The law isn’t “aimed” at churches …

    Dodgy and fragile …

  3. February 16, 2016 6:02 pm

    Is this where we say to ACL “if you can’t abide by Australian law and assimilate to our way of life, you may leave”?

  4. TB Queensland permalink
    February 16, 2016 8:30 pm

    LOL!

    One for the holy and one for the holey!

  5. February 16, 2016 8:39 pm

    There is nothing like some good ol`fashioned teabag flavoured `free-hate-speech` #praise.the.dog

    post,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,The Australian Christian Lobby is pushing the federal government to suspend anti-discrimination laws during a proposed national vote on same-sex marriage,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    #just as l predicted reb

  6. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 16, 2016 11:21 pm

    Is this where we say to ACL “if you can’t abide by Australian law and assimilate to our way of life, you may leave”?

    Yes and you may head to court if you try it on.

    Just shows how much pandering is given to the christian lobby already if they seriously think that proposal is OK.

    I’m sure they can make their case without having to get in the gutter. Perhaps they can try being reasonable and argue based on fact and not fear or prejudice – that would be a nice change.

  7. Tom R permalink
    February 17, 2016 6:51 am

    Perhaps they can try being reasonable and argue based on fact and not fear or prejudice

    C’mon, give a bigot a break. They deserve to be treated with respect too, just like they don’t need to do to anyone else

    “Never a care for the people who hate”

  8. Tom R permalink
    February 17, 2016 6:57 am

    And while we are on all things good and kristian

    The first comment I read there was a doozey

    As someone once said:
    Fuck the motherfucker
    And fuck you, motherfucker
    If you think that motherfucker is sacred
    If you cover for another motherfucker
    Who’s a kiddie fucker
    Fuck you, you’re no better
    Than the motherfucking rapist.

  9. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 17, 2016 8:49 am

    I’m sure they can make their case without having to get in the gutter.

    On the contrary! I’m sure reb would make them very welcome here!

  10. Walrus permalink
    February 17, 2016 9:23 am

    “Come Home (Cardinal Pell)”

    An excrcise by a “C” grade comedian seeking to leverage crimes against children to further his own fame/career………………noice one

  11. February 17, 2016 9:38 am

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  12. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 17, 2016 9:40 am

    Does Tim plan to go to Rome with them?

  13. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 17, 2016 11:45 am

    I like Tim Minchin, his work is intelligent and humorous [more of an A- grade comedian I think [judged on the work of his peers] he is my kind of comedian, sharp and biting satire. He showcases the hypocrisy of organised religion, don’t worry, he attacks muslims as well, pretty much anyone. He is a great observer of life.

    They should be pleased to have him in Rome! He seems, on a personal level [heard through interviews] to be a caring and commited humanitarian.

    http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2013/sep/28/tim-minchin-interview-matilda-jesus

    Have a look, he’s pretty good on the piano too.

  14. Splatterbottom permalink
    February 17, 2016 2:07 pm

    All hate speech laws should be abolished as a matter of principle. They are unnecessary limitations on free speech. The legal action brought against the Australian Catholic Bishops under those fascist laws is a case in point. I’m pretty sure the proponents of the “No” case will be delighted by this turn of events.

  15. February 17, 2016 3:25 pm

    squirter,,,,,,should be abolished as a matter of principle. They are unnecessary limitations on free speech,,,,,

    But splatter, What does the catlicks moldy book of cheeses say about `little-children` and their treatment of children?

  16. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 18, 2016 12:08 am

    The legal action brought against the Australian Catholic Bishops under those fascist laws is a case in point.

    What exactly was it that the catholic bishops said to the parents?

  17. Tom R permalink
    February 18, 2016 8:23 am

    Looks like Tim Minchin has struck a “chord” 😉

    Father Frank Brennan has warned that turning the commission into a “laughing stock” runs the risk of derailing proceedings.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-17/priest-says-tim-minchin-song-hurting-abuse-survivors/7178606

    Yea, cos asking that they be allowed to preach hate to people in order to further demonize gays isn’t turning this already mired “debate” into a “laughing stock”

  18. Tom R permalink
    February 18, 2016 8:39 am

    Kristina Keneally has her say on the Tim Minchin song

    The first time I listened to Tim Minchin’s new song “Come Home (Cardinal Pell)” I cackled. Brilliant rhyming. Religion and prison. Bell with a Pellian knell. Minchin writes poetry with a pungent point.

    The second time I listened to it I was just double checking that Minchin never used the word “fuck.” He often does. He didn’t this time. He didn’t have to – the grotesque nature of the circumstances doesn’t need to be punctuated by obscenity.

    The third time I listened to it I cried. I was driving in my car. I cried big fat tears that caused me to pull over to the side of the road.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/17/when-i-first-heard-tim-minchins-song-about-cardinal-pell-i-laughed-then-i-started-crying?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

  19. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 18, 2016 11:53 am

    tomR, this para stands out for me in that article of KK’s.

    …For starters, it provoked sorrow at my loss of faith in the church, an organisation that has done much good but nonetheless values its rules, assets, and male privilege above all else…

  20. Casting Nasturtiums permalink
    February 18, 2016 12:56 pm

    It’s a curious and curiously incurious thing, a ‘right to religious freedom’. Some religious folks of exceptional faith and teaching seem to seek formally to enshrine and to entrench, via a convenient cooption of the apparatii of public legislations, and attenuated debates about same, the very learned prejudices and disseminated discriminations which are, in good faith, subject presently to formal and informal contests, both from within and from without, by partial memberships of their private-public thralldoms; hence, all the complexity of special pleadings in the public square while contrapuntal free speech within the churchyard is ruthlessly silenced, and evangelising demands for specific interventions by the actual State, in pursuit of an absolute, incontestible claim to exceptionally necessary additional exemptions from the general law of the land; as it is, and as it almost certainly will come to be, and as it applies to, and among, and between, all commonweal citizens; whether they happen to choose to worship prostrate at the foot of the altar of the local branch of the Holy See, or choose to stand up in, or to, a church and worship there, or not, just the same.

  21. TB Queensland permalink
    February 20, 2016 6:13 pm

    Archbishop Hart said the fundamental principles of justice demanded that the allegations were investigated, that the allegations be put to the accused and that there was a presumption of innocence at a fair trial.

    “Whenever any of these basic principles are not observed for one individual, regardless of their position in society, all suffer,” Archbishop Hart said.

    “Cardinal Pell, like all Australian citizens, is entitled to have these principles apply to him.

    “I support calls for an independent investigation into the source of the leaks.”

    It’s a pity they didn’t take that position with complaints about child molestation within their ranks – for decades!

  22. February 20, 2016 6:22 pm

    “”It’s a pity they didn’t take that position with complaints about child molestation within their ranks – for decades!””

    Well said!!

  23. March 23, 2016 8:45 am

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