Australian telecoms giant drops support for equal marriage after evangelical backlash
Australia’s biggest telecoms country has dropped its endorsement for equal marriage, after a sustained campaign by anti-LGBT evangelicals.
The country’s government has been stalling for over a year on the issue – with current PM Malcolm Turnbull attempting to kick it into the long grass by forcing a public vote, despite a Parliamentary majority in favour.
Some of the country’s biggest businesses have come out in favour of equality, with telecoms giant TELSTRA campaigning alongside Australian Marriage Equality (AME).
But despite expressing its support for equality previously, the company has this week performed an about-face following a complaints campaign led by anti-LGBT Church groups.
In classic obfuscatory style, the company released a statement that both announced the change… and insisted that nothing had changed.
It said: “Telstra has a long tradition of supporting diversity and inclusion.
“Our position on the issue has not changed. We place great importance on diversity and standing against all forms of discrimination.
“We also recognise this diversity means our employees, customers and shareholders will have a range of personal views on this topic.
“What has changed is that the Government has indicated it will call a plebiscite on the issue and, ultimately, Parliament will decide the matter.
“Our people and stakeholders can contribute to this process and out of respect, it is important we allow them to voice their own views.
“Given this we have no further plans to be active in the debate.”