FOR RELEASE: 31st January 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby today welcomed a “pledge” by gay activists (see here) to respect the views of people opposed to gay marriage but said it must be backed up by more than just rhetoric.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said he remained concerned about successful attempts by gay activists to intimidate people into silence.

Mr Wallace said ACL had always supported the removal of unjustified discrimination against same-sex couples and backed the Rudd Government’s reforms in 2008 giving equality to same-sex couples in Commonwealth law.

However, he was disappointed that the same tolerance was not shown by some gay activists whose intimidation of a premier internet public affairs journal meant it was no longer covering the gay marriage debate.

Blogging on December 12 here, Online Opinion editor Graham Young said he and his advertisers were “under attack” and being intimidated by “gay activists” because “we dared to publish” a piece which was “mostly a pastiche of comments by gay activists”.

“As a result, those supporting marriage remaining between a man and a woman have lost a key forum for debate,” Mr Wallace said.

“This sort of intimidation does not show respect and tolerance nor does the constant bandying around of terms like ‘homophobe’ and ‘bigot’.

“Today’s assurance that churches will not be maliciously pursued by homosexual litigants ring hollow given overseas experience, the experience of the Christian Brethren campsite in Victoria, and the on-going push by gay activists to rid Australian equal opportunity law of protections for religious freedom which allow churches and Christian schools to positively discriminate in favour of staff who share their ethos,” Mr Wallace said.