The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s softening of his rhetoric against people who support preserving marriage between a man and a woman.

“I welcome Mr Shorten’s condemnation of same-sex marriage activists who forced pro-marriage supporters to meet in secret this week,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.

Staff at the Mercure Hotel at Sydney Airport were “rattled” by  phone calls from gay activists threatening violence unless a pre-booked meeting room for  pro-marriage supporters was not cancelled.

“It is good to see Mr Shorten de-escalating his rhetoric.

“I have been concerned that his labelling of marriage supporters as ‘homophobes’ and as ‘people who come out from under rocks’ was emboldening those who have resorted to threats of violence against hotel staff and ACL’s staff.

“It is also good to see Mr Shorten now saying that our side of the debate should be allowed to organise for the plebiscite without being intimidated into moving meeting venues.

“If Mr Shorten is prepared to trust a group of Christians, Jews, Hindus and Muslims to meet to organise for the plebiscite, he should be willing to allow the national people’s vote to proceed,” Mr Shelton said.

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