The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has claimed that Australians have been “sold a lie” on same-sex marriage and business leaders “bullied” into declaring their support.
Earlier this month, leaders from some of Australia’s biggest businesses wrote an unprecedented letter to the country’s elected representatives, urging them to end Australia’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The letter cited the overwhelming public support for same-sex marriage in the country. The plea was flatly rejected by the country’s right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who continues to refuse to permit a free vote in Parliament on a marriage equality bill.
But in a column for The Australian today, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies claims the business leaders have been “bullied” into supporting equality.
He insisted: “The campaign for same-sex marriage is not sailing on a raft of rainbows but on a barge of bullies.”
Launching an attack on businesses who stood up for LGBT equality, he insisted: “The corporate world has been press-ganged into [the] cause.
“It is a regrettable state of affairs that executives of some the large public companies have been too weak-kneed to resist the attacks of a strident minority via social media platforms. The way it has been presented is ‘diversity’.
“Just a quick look through the diversity policies of the companies that wrote to the Prime Minister on same-sex marriage recently shows focus on gender, cultural background, disability and sexual orientation.
“Spot the gap: faith. Such a large part of the lives of millions in our multi-faith country is nowhere to be seen.”
In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation today, he claimed: “I can’t see why same-sex marriage has anything to do with business for Pricewaterhouse or IBM or Google — why don’t they start talking about immigration, Aboriginal detention?”
“They have been misled and bullied into taking a stance on the grounds of diversity.”
He insisted: “People have been sold a lie, their views are shutdown, marginalised, ostracised and pilloried in a bullying fashion.
“Even in Aboriginal culture marriage is valued as between a man and a woman.
“A plebiscite would identify there isn’t strong support for same-sex marriage as the proponents wish us to believe.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused to budge on equal marriage.
He told reporters earlier this month: “Our policy on this is well-known, which we took to the election [last year]. There should be a plebiscite on the issue first.
“The Labor Party has frustrated that by opposing it in the Senate, despite the fact that Mr Shorten only three years ago gave his very public and vocal support for a plebiscite which would give every Australians a say on the matter.”