I’m grieved to be called a hater. It is not true. It is not true of ACL staff or our families.

Yet post after post on the Hyatt Canberra’s Facebook page on Tuesday was filled with bitter bile and obscenity directed at ACL.

Pearl clutching, haters, bigots, faeces, racist, and cult were just some of the vile insults urging the Hyatt to cancel our booking to hold our National Conference there this weekend.

We have a view about marriage that is the same as a strong majority of federal parliamentarians and yet it seems that this is what is causing the outpouring of hate against us on Facebook.

We are distressed about being likened to the Ku Klux Klan and neo Nazis. The overwhelming majority of posts, which included posts from some well-known same-sex marriage activists, were slurs and insults.

I would be happy for anyone to produce evidence that we are any of the things of which we stand accused.

We of course wish to see marriage remain between a man and a woman. This is a social justice issue for children.

Same-sex marriage is the final abolition of the idea of a child’s right to be raised, wherever possible, by her or his biological mother and father.

Sure two men can love a baby, but what right do they have to deprive her of her mother’s breast?

It is important we do not lose this child-centred idea from public policy.

Civil society has always put the rights of the vulnerable above the strong and a discussion about this is desperately needed in Australia’s marriage non-debate.

The hate campaign against the ACL and the Hyatt saw the hotel’s Facebook star rating drop to 2. Today, thanks to thousands of ACL supporters who responded to our call to send some love to the Hyatt, it is now over 4.

Thanks for taking action, you made a difference!

This just goes to show how a tiny minority of activists can manipulate mainstream media through social media.

While the Hyatt says its supports the LGBTIQ agenda, it has maintained its professionalism and stood by its decision to host ACL’s conference.

We are grateful that they have not given in to an attempt to shut down public debate in Australia.

It is sad that those pushing for a legal change to the definition of marriage do not seem to value free speech, tolerance or diversity of views.

The irony of all this is that this weekend’s conference is not primarily about marriage. This issue is held politically in the Parliament because of the strong support of MPs and Senators for marriage, so we saw no need to make it a primary focus of the conference.

Instead our focus is on persecuted Christians, raising the refugee intake, indigenous recognition and religious freedom.

We are looking forward to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s keynote address and to engaging with the alternative Prime Minister.

For those of you making the trip to Canberra, we look forward to seeing you.

Thanks to everyone who continues to support ACL and take action to build a more just and compassionate society.