5 August 2015

Calls this week by a UK Government MP for anti-terrorism legislation to be used to silence believers in traditional marriage should serve as a warning to Australian parliamentarians about where this political agenda is heading overseas.

Mark Spencer, the Conservative MP for Sherwood recently said in a letter to a constituent that controversial new Extremism Disruption Orders should be used to silence Christian teachers who say marriage is a heterosexual union.

Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said Mr Spencer’s remarks were disturbing and mirrored recent actions of Australian same-sex marriage activists.

“Mr Spencer’s comments demonstrate the intolerance to dissent of the same-sex political agenda,” Mr Shelton said.

"Wanting to silence dissent is intolerant. Using Extremism Disruption Orders to silence dissent on marriage is itself extreme intolerance.

"I wonder how ethnic communities who will never waver on the definition of marriage would feel about anti-terrorism laws being used to silence their beliefs on marriage.

“Supporters of redefining marriage keep telling us that we should follow the lead of countries like the UK that have redefined marriage.

“The more Australians see of the consequences of redefining marriage overseas the less attractive the same-sex marriage agenda becomes.

“Recently the prominent same-sex marriage lobbyist Rodney Croome called for people to complain to the Tasmanian Human Rights Commissioner because the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart had dared to distribute a booklet outlining the church’s teachings on marriage in Catholic schools.

“This latest example of intolerance from the UK should cause Australian MPs considering a political debate on marriage next week to think twice about rushing into legislation that will take away freedoms from millions of Australians who will never accept a politicians' definition of marriage," Mr Shelton said.