It was disappointing to see the Shadow Attorney General assert that same-sex marriage posed no threat to other peoples’ freedoms, Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said today.
“Sadly the idea that redefining marriage and freedom for those who disagreed were “unrelated” had no basis in reality both overseas and here in Australia.
Mr Dreyfus made the comments the Freedom for Faith conference in Melbourne yesterday.
“There is a long list of people in the US, UK and Canada who have been fined, hauled before courts and demonised out of their jobs for their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Mr Shelton said.
“Here in Tasmania Archbishop Julian Porteous spent six months tied up in legal action before the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission after Australian Marriage Equality urged people to complain about his teaching on marriage.
Mr Shelton said Mr Dreyfus was asked about the Trinity Western Law School in Canada who’s graduates are refused accreditation because of the university’s policy on marriage.
Mr Dreyfus told the conference he had “no knowledge” of this high profile case.
“Clearly more work needs to be done to raise awareness with parliamentarians and the public about the consequences of redefining marriage.
“Clergy are not the only people in society who have freedom of conscience rights.
“Cake makers, florists, wedding chapel owners and photographers are among the many people who have had legal action taken against them.
“This is why it is so important that Australians are allowed to have a national conversation about the consequences ahead of a people’s vote.
“We have been concerned for some time that parliamentarians are simply not up to speed with what has been happening in the minority nations which have redefined marriage,” Mr Shelton said.
Just this week pro-marriage groups had to meet in secret because same-sex marriage activists threatened violence against the Mercure Hotel in Sydney.
“Freedom is already being affected in Australia even before the law has been changed. What will it be like if it ever does change?” Mr Shelton said.