Tony Abbott has ripped into the ACT Labor government over same-sex marriage, accusing it of bullying and trampling on the rights of parents after it smacked down a Canberra Christian school which has asked its parents to vote No.
The former prime minister, and a leading no advocate, said the actions of ACT Labor Education Minister Yvette Berry in telling all Canberra schools they had to be inclusive amounted to a “pretty outrageous interference with freedom of speech and freedom of religion’’.
“If that’s the way the school thinks, why can’t it speak its mind?
“If Woolworths and Qantas and these companies can speak their mind without anyone bullying them, why can’t the Brindabella Christian College speak its mind and gives its advice without being bullied by the ACT government,’’ Mr Abbott told 2GB.
“How can the commonwealth, the Prime Minister and other senior ministers like Scott Morrison stand there and say with a straight face that freedom of speech, freedom of religion and parental choice will be protected under what is not government legislation, but private member’s legislation when we have a territory government, and I dare say the Victorian government and other state governments would take a similar view … trampling over the rights over the rights of schools and the parents that send their kids to these schools to speak their mind.’’
Thank you Mr Abbott for calling out the left, who were once again trying it on by asserting that they should have free speech but everyone else should just shut up.
Ms Berry today reminded all Canberra schools, public and private, they had an obligation to be safe and “LGBTIQ+ inclusive’’. …
“Of course school leaders and staff, and parents and carers are free to hold their views on marriage equality but this cannot be allowed to occur in a way that damages the welfare of young LGBTIQ+ people,’’ Ms Berry said. …
Coalition for Marriage spokesman Lyle Shelton said Ms Berry’s intervention confirmed every parent’s fear about the effect of same-sex marriage on their children’s education.
Mr Shelton said Ms Berry had warned Canberra schools against encouraging a no vote while also announcing the upcoming launch of the ACT’s answer to Safe Schools.
“In a single statement, Minister Berry has confirmed every parent’s fears about the introduction of same-sex marriage,” he said in a statement.
hat-tip Stephen Neil