On 18 March 2023, the “Let Women Speak” rally sparked turmoil within the Liberal Party after it was hijacked by a group of unidentified men who used Nazi salutes, and the Liberal Party leader John Pesutto hastily declared his new MP Moira Deeming guilty by association and wanted to expel her from the party room for “organizing, promoting and attending an anti-trans rights rally”.
The following Monday, we launched an email campaign after the evidence revealed that the rally organisers did not have any affiliation with any Nazi group, and that the rally was not an “anti-trans rights” rally – but one that called for biological women’s rights for safety in bathrooms, shelters and sports etc.
The Liberal Party room debate in relation to Moira’s possible expulsion was set for Monday 28 March. For the whole week leading up to the day, many of you ACL supporters in Victoria had flexed your muscles in unity and strength through our grassroots campaigns – in hope of saving the well-loved and respected Moira Deeming, who . has stood up for women’s rights and Biblical virtues and truths tirelessly for years. Wendy Francis spoke up for Moira on Channel 9. You can watch her here.
On Monday after more than two hours of nervous waiting, the outcome was announced with an unexpected twist – Moira was not expelled, but was given a 9-month suspension. This is a harsh and unnecessary punishment but it is better than expulsion. You can read our media release explaining our views here.
Christopher Brohier our Acting National Director, Politics spoke on ABC Melbourne radio saying that the suspension was inappropriate. You can listen to him here.
While we are not happy with the outcome, we are thankful to God that Moira has been given a second chance. This is a victory for Moira and those MPs who supported her relentlessly day and night in the past week. The aims of those who wanted to expel her were thwarted.
Moreover, this is also a win for Christians like you in Victoria, who have taken action to defend Moira and Christian values. The world is run by those who turn up and so many of you turned up! Thank you!
In between 20 and 28 March, multiple ACL grassroots campaigns were activated:
- An email campaign was launched on Monday 20 March – and more than 6,100 ACL supporters took action to write to their Liberal MPs, and especially to the Liberal leader John Pesutto and MPs Southwick, Crozier and Bach;
- Under the leadership of our Local Campaign Organizers (LCOs), our volunteers phoned their Liberal MPs urging them keeping Moira in the party room;
- A group of volunteers led by LCOs also visited a MPs’ offices on Friday 24 March reiterating the message;
- On Monday when the party room meeting was held, some of our volunteers joined a small rally on the steps of Parliament supporting Moira;
- Throughout the week, I communicated with various MPs. I have also emailed Mr Pesutto and his advisers sounding the alarm of the possible consequences for the 2026 state election if Moira was expelled. I even communicated with the Leader of the National Party.
In the end, God may have used Moira’s own speech and personal testimony to change the outcome and soften the hearts of her colleagues. You can listen to parts of her speech here.
But it was also your actions – those thousands of emails – that encouraged and strengthened Moira and those MPs supporting her to battle on. According to one MP, the number of emails did change the minds of some.
So don’t underestimate the importance of your involvement in this grassroots movement – it was impactful, powerful and effective! It is a lesson for us all in these dark days. We have to pray, act, pray, act and keep persisting in it.
Moving forward, please continue to pray for Moira and the Liberal Party.
As she takes time to heal, pray that Moira and her family will remain strong. Pray also for Mr Pesutto and his leadership team that they will learn the lesson that the Liberal Party must return to its core values of standing for the fundamental freedoms of thought, conscience and religion, speech and association.
I urge you to pray for them continuously.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
– 1 Timothy 2:1-2