It’s the favourite game played by members of the Australian Christian Lobby of late, take the latest progressive news story for the GLBTIQ community, grasp at the smallest of details and turn it into an anti-Christian movement.
This week they’ve played the game with admirable effort.
With the reinstatement of Civil Union Ceremonies now in place in Queensland, the GLBTIQ community has a small victory to celebrate while Wendy Francis and the ACL are claiming a slight on their beliefs.
Their latest line in a press release detailing this attack last week is that the reinstatement of Civil Partnership ceremonies in Queensland will now pave the way for persecution of the right of churches to discriminate against who they wish to hire church halls to.
Yes, that’s right, we’re threatening their hospitality service industry now.
Wendy and the ACL believe that now we can perform ceremonies to accompany our state-sanctioned civil unions that the GLBTIQ community will be out in force to hire church halls and facilities to host our glorious glitter filled ceremonies.
Their fear? They want to say no.
Wendy believes that this will place them on “’shaky ground’ if they declined a request from a same-sex couple who want to commemorate their civil union in their facility.”
In her usual style, Wendy Francis has interpreted a statement from the LGBTI Legal Service as “an invitation for same-sex couples to deliberately target religious institutions in order to haul them before the anti-discrimination commissioner.”
Yes Wendy, because the first thing on our agenda whilst celebrating this small token of acknowledgement and acceptance from our government is going to be to deliberately attack and target churches for their outdated and archaic beliefs that we are somehow lesser in the eyes of the church.
However, in her madness lies some truth.
There are reception halls and facilities owned and operated by religious organisations. They are available for hire to the general public and these organisations have the right to dictate what sort of events they allow their facilities to be hired for. But the burn that Wendy and the ACL have clued on to so readily is that yes, they are obligated to ensure the hire and use of these facilities are done in a fair and just manner in line with current anti-discrimination laws.
For example, if they wish to hire their facilities for the exclusive use of wild and debaucherous sex parties for the playful at heart, they are more than welcome to.
If they wish to draw the line and say they are only for straight sex parties, we’ve got a problem. Same goes for ceremonies, receptions, and general celebrations, if their facilities are available to celebrate the union of a heterosexual union then they must, in turn, be available for hire to a same-sex couple’s union. It’s cut and dry, it’s the law.
Again we are hearing the cry of the religious right’s attempt to excuse themselves from the law, Plebiscite anyone?
But the line is pretty clearly drawn in the sand, why should we give them any room to move it?
By all means, no-one should expect them to marry us, why would we even want them to?
If any religion doesn’t believe in the marriage of two people of the same sex I see no reason why we should compel them to marry them in the eyes of that church but that’s where their religious freedom begins and ends.
You start to tell us that you want to deny us basic hire facilities, labor or other associated products, yes Wendy we’re going to want cakes, then we have a problem on our hands and they’re going to have to deal with it.
Apparently our queer “ideology has far-reaching consequences on businesses, religious organisations, communities and families” but really, it doesn’t.
We just want to have our cake and eat it too.