ACL: opponents have not done enough to denounce threats of violence

Lyle Shelton

Lyle Shelton from Australian Christian Lobby has told the ABC that he has no doubt that the Australian Christian Lobby was the target of the explosion at the organisation’s HQ last night.

The ACL’s head office in Canberra was seriously damaged on Wednesday evening when a van filled with gas cylinders was driven into the front of the building and set alight. The resulting explosion blew out the windows at the front of the building and damaged the interior.

Speaking to the media this morning, Shelton said that while the reasons for the attack were still unknown it had occurred in the context of the organisation’s opposition to same sex marriage and the Safe Schools program.

“I never thought that coming to work for a public advocacy organisation like ACL that we’d be subject to this sort of thing.” Shelton told reporters this morning. “This is not the Australia that I grew up in.”

“My team, my staff, have had to endure numerous death threats over the course of this year because of our advocacy and because of something as simple as marriage between a man and a woman, and because we think children shouldn’t be taught that their gender is fluid at school through the so-called Safe Schools program.

“Our advocacy on those two issues has caused multiple death threats, its caused threats to the staff at The Mercure Hotel in Sydney where we wanted to conduct a meeting with our allies in relation to a public debate on marriage, the proposed plebiscite. We had threats of violence there, which were not condemned by leaders of our opponents.”

Shelton said he did not know the motivation behind last night’s attack but it had happened in the context of multiple death threats in relation to the organisations positions on marriage and the Safe Schools program.

The ACL leader said most of the threats to the Australian Christian Lobby’s office had been via anonymous telephone calls but the threats to staff at The Mercure Hotel had been from “well known activist gay activists”.

Appearing on SKY News Luke Howarth from the LNP said the ACL had taken a strong position on traditional marriage and a range of issues and that some people disagreed with their positions.

Howarth said it was disappointing that the government’s proposal for a plebiscite had not been passed.

“It is a shame on issues like marriage that it wasn’t settled in February next year when the coalition offered to have a plebiscite. I think we could have got it over an done with, let the people have a say and moved on, instead the issue will drag on for years to come.”

Fellow Queensland MP George Christensen said if the attack on the ACL was politically motivated it should be denounced.

OIP Staff

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