Anti-gay Catholic booklet sparks official Tasmania probe
Tasmania’s Anti-discrimination Commissioner has launched an investigation into a homophic booklet produced by the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference and authorised by Hobart’s Catholic archbishop Julian Porteous, above.
The anti-same-sex-marriage booklet, distributed in mid-2015 to thousands of Tasmanian families through the church’s school system, stands accused of being offensive and insulting.
Human rights campaigner and Greens lower house candidate for the 2016 election, Martine Delaney, lodged a complaint with the Anti-discrimination Commissioner who confirmed earlier this month that an investigation would go ahead.
The Australian Christian Lobby is incensed by the investigation, wailed about attacks on free speech, called for further distribution of the booklet and wrote:
We must tell our fellow Australians that basic teaching about marriage and family is considered illegal by some in our community and that they are prepared to use the law to shut down other peoples’ views.
In the wake of the investigation, the ACL has asked supporters to fund a $200,000 “war chest” in defence of traditional marriage, ahead of a federal election in which the same-sex marriage debate is likely to feature heavily.
ACL’s Grand Imperial Poobah, Lyle Shelton, above, today sent an email out to supporters, asking for a gift to enable people to “understand what’s really at stake if the definition of marriage is changed.”
Your support today will help ACL build a $200,000 ‘war chest’ so we can get the message out, resource our team to present a voice for marriage, and equip churches for grassroots actions.
Marriage equality is likely to be a big issue during the next federal election, as the Coalition has pledged to hold a plebiscite on the matter some time after polling day. The form of the question, the timeline for its implementation if passed and whether or not the plebiscite’s outcome will be binding have all yet to be finalised.
Even if the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage, legislation will need to be passed by the federal government in order to change the Marriage Act, which currently restricts marriage to between a man and a woman.
Labor is opposed to holding a plebiscite, instead vowing to introduce legislation to change the Marriage Act within 100 days of winning office.
A crossbench bill to legalise same-sex marriage, backed by Liberal backbencher, Warren Entsch, is due to be debated in Parliament’s federation chamber on Monday.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn