Catholic Archbishop warns marriage equality will diminish freedom


The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has spoken out against marriage equality, warning that same-sex marriages could see an end of religious freedoms as institutions are “expected to toe the PC line.”

Speaking at the Centre for Independent Studies on Wednesday, Archbishop Anthony Fisher told his audience that he was concerned about the current public debate on marriage, using examples from the United States – including instances where bakers had been sued for failing to provide cakes for same-sex couples.

“Many clergy and teachers in faith-based school have been cowed with threats of prosecution for ‘hate speech’ if they teach that divine law limits marriage to people of opposite sex,” Archbishop Fisher said.

“There are also actions pending against evangelical Christian and Maronite Catholic business owners for failing to provide photography, stretch limousine and hospitality services for ‘gay weddings’.”

The Archbishop’s concerns did not end there, warning of a “future in which bishops are gaoled, political dissent is all but silenced, scripture lessons are banned, and religious tax exemptions are eroded, should same-sex marriage be legalised.”

Deputy national director of Australian Marriage Equality Ivan Hinton-Teoh quelled the Archbishop’s concerns – drawing attention to the differences between Australia and the United States.

“Throughout the world almost 1 billion people live in countries where marriage equality prevails and the sky is yet to fall in. There are only a couple of examples of wedding service providers facing legal action and they are all from the United States,” Mr Hinton-Teoh said.

“The Australian context is vastly different to the United States. Australians have enjoyed living with anti-discrimination laws that provide a guarantee that all Australians, regardless of orientation or gender identity have access to products and services without discrimination.”

Research conducted by AME shows that around 67% of Australian Catholics support marriage equality, and no bishops have been jailed for opposing same-sex marriage.

“The national conversation about marriage equality is now in its 11th year,” Mr Hinton-Teoh continues, “Most Australians, including the majority of Australian Catholics, are calling for reform to remove discrimination, not further enshrine it.”

OIP Staff


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