Threats Force Australian Christian Lobby Group to Cancel Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Opposition Event

By Austin Roscoe Published on September 21, 2016

An alliance of Australian Christian conservative groups cancelled a conference about the nation’s upcoming national vote on same-sex “marriage” late Friday night after allegedly receiving physical threats.

Booked by four Christian groups at a conference room in the Mercure Sydney Airport Hotel, the event was set to discuss a potentially upcoming plebiscite meant to measure public support for redefining marriage. The legal redefining of marriage is a stated goal of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has committed to push such a measure through the country’s lower legislative house during his time in office.

The Sydney Anglicans, Syndey Catholics, the Marriage Alliance and the Australian Christian Lobby were set to meet in preparation of a campaign against the plebiscite. However, according to The Australian, “the Accor Hotels group,” which operates the hotel, “confirmed late yesterday (Friday) that the function had been abandoned after a social media storm triggered phone calls that ‘rattled’ employees and left the company concerned about the safety of staff and guests.”

Opposition to the conservative event started after the gay news website released details of the private event to its readers. The Austrialian reports:

Activist ­Pauline Pantsdown urged followers to stop the “dangerous, predatory” ACL. “Are children safe at Mercure and Accor hotels?” one post said. One follower declared it ­“utterly horrifying” that Accor would host the Christian groups while another accused the hotel of supporting the “hateful, ­deceitful and extreme” ACL.

Pantsdown later posted (warning: language) a long dissertation on Facebook, bashing The Australian‘s “trash journalism” and the ACL’s “Orwellian victim play.”

Many are noting that same-sex “marriage” supporters, such as Member of Parliament Bill Shorten, have claimed such “hate speech” would come from those against the plebiscite — not the other way around.

To echo this point, one plebiscite-supporter said, “I’m becoming a little uneasy about this kind of thing. Will fundamentalist Christians and others start pressuring venues hosting marriage-equality functions to cancel them?”

On the other side, many religious leaders have expressed distaste at the unfolding of events. Anthony Fisher, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, “warned that it was beneath Australians to treat supporters of traditional marriage as proponents of bigotry.” Similarly, “The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, warned of the danger to free speech from the threats that shut down the meeting.”

Despite supporting the plebiscite, Prime Minister Turnbull has recognized that his party may have to “negotiate on all of these matters.”

On Friday, Turnbull said “The one thing that is very clear is that you cannot expect to get legislation through the Senate on a take-it-or-leave-it basis unless people agree with the proposition.”

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