Rebekha Sharkie threatens legal action over ACL flyers

South Australian MP Rebekha Sharkie has threatened to take legal action against the Australian Christian Lobby over their political flyers that depict her as being against churches.

The member for Mayo said the ACL has used an mage which she owns the copyright on without asking her permission. In a letter sent to the religious lobby group Sharkie demanded the group apologise and set a deadline of the start of next week to comply.

“If the Australian Christian Lobby do not apologise and do not remedy what I feel is wrong, I will be seeking to take further action,” Sharkie told ABC News.

The MP said that the suggestion that she was attacking churches was a misrepresentation.

“As a Christian, I support protections against discrimination on the grounds of religion, but I will not idly allow this extremist organisation to use my likeness to denigrate the LGBTIQ+ community, people fleeing domestic violence, going through divorce or seeking IVF treatment.” Sharkie posted to her social media.

“The views of the far-right ACL are not shared by a long list of religious organisations, including the Uniting Church, Anglican Church, St Vincent de Paul Society and so on.”

The ACL previously announced that they would be campaigning against Sharkie and other MPs who voted in favour of amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act during the parliamentary debate over the Religious Discrimination Bill. The amendments, which were successfully passed, gave protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students attending faith-based schools.

Sharkie is just one of several MPs targetted by the religious lobby group alongside moderate Liberals including Fiona Martin, Bridget Archer, Trent Zimmerman and Dave Sharma. They have also targeted Labor’s Anne Aly, and Warringah independent Zali Steggall. The ACL’s flyers portray the MPs as taking a wrecking ball to churches.

The Australian Christian Lobby has previously said it does not believe their overt political campaigning has contravened as of their responsibilities as a registered charity. Spokesperson Wendy Francis told the media that they have yet to receive the correspondence from Sharkie, but the image they used was widely available and their was no evidence the copyright was held by the politician.

“The photo of Rebekha Sharkie used on the ACL flyer is publicly available online in many places, including on the ABC election website,” Francis said.

“ACL has not been provided with any evidence that Ms Sharkie owns the copyright, as distinct from her assertions.

“None of these claims change the integrity of the campaign and its message.

“Ms Sharkie does not want people in her electorate to know that she voted against the Religious Discrimination Bill and moved the amendment to remove protections for faith-based schools.” Francis said.

OIP Staff

You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,