Cathy Wilcox Cartoon

The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) is deeply disturbed that the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is demanding a “temporary change” to anti-discrimination laws, so that their propaganda and misinformation about gay Australians, their loving relationships and their children during the mooted plebiscite on marriage equality can’t be found to breach them.

There is so much manifestly wrong with this shockingly ill-conceived thought-bubble, that we hardly know where to begin:

  • If their Christianity was really “all about love”, why is the ACL explicitly seeking permission to talk about other human beings in a way that might breach anti-discrimination laws proscribing hate speech?;
  • The ACL is already showing their hand for the plebiscite – tacitly admitting that their planned propaganda campaign will likely vilify and incite hatred against gay Australians, their children and their loved ones;
  • Religious organisations and voices are not above secular laws, and any lobbying for such exemptions should be strongly resisted;
  • If the only way that the ACL can argue a case against marriage equality is to vilify and incite legally-actionable hatred against gay Australians and their families, they clearly don’t really have any reasoned, valid case against it.

And all of that says nothing good about their humanity, ethics, motives or reasoning. Gay Australians and their children deserve far better than to be ‘collateral damage’ in the ACL’s theocratic-ideological campaign.

AFA President Michael Boyd commented:

This is yet another example of religious wishful thinking, that the secular laws that everyone else abides by should not similarly apply to them. We have all seen the horrible consequences of the religious picking and choosing which laws they will or won’t follow. The ACL’s latest plan has the same type of ‘stuff-up’ written all over it.

If the ACL think that it’s fair and reasonable that they be granted this exemption… as a matter of consistency, would they support a similar exemption so that religions and the ACL could be legally vilified in a similar way?

We strongly doubt it. That is the essence of religious privilege and arrogance – claiming special treatment for itself and its adherents, that it seeks to deny everyone else.

The AFA calls on all Australian governments to seriously consider the horrendous implications of the ACL’s ‘proposal’… before uniformly responding “hell, no!”.

Michael Boyd

Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595

Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: [email protected]

By 2