Beware the barge of bullies trumpeting diversity

Beware the barge of bullies trumpeting diversity, by Glenn Davies, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney.

There is only one upside from the recent attacks and unprecedented abuse directed at an academic and the directors of Christian organisations: people are beginning to wake up and take notice. They are starting to understand that the campaign for same-sex marriage is not sailing on a raft of rainbows but on a barge of bullies. …

At the beginning, the promise seemed to be innocent enough — change one word in the marriage legislation and there would be equality for all. Now, as people start to digest the magnitude of such a social change and the ramifications that would follow for families and the rest of the community when marriage is cut adrift from the significance of gender distinctiveness (the Safe Schools Coalition program is only one of these side effects), other voices are starting to speak up.

But, just as quickly, they are shut down in the name of diversity. I was one of the Christian leaders who convened a meeting of church leaders in Sydney last year, to be held at the Mercure Hotel. No sooner had we set the venue than staff were subjected to an ugly campaign of harassment and threats.

For the safety of staff and guests, the hotel cancelled the booking. Were we not harangued by political leaders opposed to a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, that such a debate would incite hate speech from those defending the traditional definition of marriage? Yet this has not happened. On the contrary, it is those who have been frustrated by the government’s determination to adhere to its election policy to allow the citizens to have their say who have taken the opportunity to harangue, marginalise and ostracise those who do not support a society where gender is interchangeable.

A case in point:

Catholic Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous was taken to the brink in Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal for espousing views on marriage that accord with Australian law, let alone being the view of his church, as well as all churches and that which civilisations have held for millennia. The avant-garde opponents of these time-honoured mores had hoped to silence him.

What kind of a society calls someone before a tribunal because they are defending the law of the land? What kind of state legislation allows such a travesty of justice to occur? Has our society been that deprived of common sense and love of freedom that a carefully ­articulated defence of commonwealth legislation can be deemed offensive merely because someone wants the law changed and is offended because their views are at odds with the current law? …

The real phobia of the bullies: they are not all that popular.

The real fear on this issue is not “homophobia”, which has become a slur against those who hold a different view from this regressive minority, but “plebiphobia”, fear of the people: the fear that a popular vote may be lost. …

Just a quick look through the diversity policies of the companies that wrote to the Prime Minister on same-sex marriage recently shows focus on gender, cultural background, disability and sexual orientation. Spot the gap: faith.