“Religious institutions and schools are free and are protected by our existing legislation and our constitution to teach their beliefs. That will not change because same-sex couples can get married.” – Tony Abbott’s sister, Christine Forster, speaking on behalf of the Yes campaign, November 2017.
I admit it. I’m a bear with a sore head.
For years leading up to the same-sex marriage plebiscite, many of us warned that this would happen.
Almost every day during the plebiscite campaign, we said this would happen. Almost every day, the Yes campaign, now re-badged as Equality Australia, said we were introducing red herrings into the debate.
Now it has happened. Quicker than we thought.
News broke overnight that a Christian school in Ballarat is being sued by a former teacher, Rachel Colvin, because she does not agree with the school’s position on marriage.
She resigned over the issue after Ballarat Christian College re-iterated that it was committed to the Christian view of marriage – that marriage can only be between one man and one woman.
Parents send their children to Christian schools because they expect Christian schools and their staff to uphold the Christian view of marriage.
But Colvin, a supporter of same-sex marriage, now wants the parent community and the school to bow to her vision for marriage.
She is trying to force this on the school by suing it under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act.
As James Macpherson wittily pointed out on Twitter this morning, "would you sue your local baker because he insists on making pastries when you want sausages?"
During the marriage campaign, we said over and over and over again that redefining marriage in law would weaponise State-based anti-discrimination legislation.
And it has. This is further proof, if anyone needed it, after the Porteous case in Tasmania where an Archbishop was taken to an anti-discrimination tribunal for teaching Catholics Catholic teaching on marriage.
The Morrison Government is struggling to address the vulnerabilities created by the legal change to the definition of marriage for freedom of speech and freedom of religion with a draft religious discrimination bill before the parliament. It is trying to address the vulnerabilites created by same-sex marriage for religious schools by shunting the issue off to the Australian Law Reform Commission.
Meanwhile, Colvin’s case will proceed to court and Christian and Muslim schools and their parent communities will be made to feel like bigots because they want their vision of marriage up-held.
In many televised debates with the leaders of what is now Equality Australia, they continually said concerns about Christian schools losing their freedoms were distractions.
They said same-sex marriage was only about the love of two people.
In this debate from November 2017 with Tony Abbott’s sister, Christine Forster, she states that Christian schools would remain free.
“Religious institutions and schools are free and are protected by our existing legislation and our constitution to teach their beliefs. That will not change because same-sex couples can get married,” Forster told Sky News.
You can watch our debate here and judge for yourself.
Equality Australia, which is backing Colvin’s legal case, has some explaining to do.
They continually said no one else’s freedoms would be affected by same-sex marriage.
If the Australian people knew that Christian schools would be dragged to court for not bowing to rainbow marriage ideology, it is doubtful that the marriage plebiscite to redefine marriage would have been carried.
Most people thought they were just saying yes to the love of two people. They didn’t join the dots with the wider agenda of rainbow politics to silence and punish those of us who have a different vision of marriage and family and who wish to continue to live that out in schools, mosques, synagogues, churches, temples and charities.
The Australian people were lied to by the Yes campaign in order to achieve their desired result. If people knew the truth, the outcome of the 2017 postal plebiscite may well have been different.
If Christian schools are not free to uphold a Christian view of marriage, no one who believes marriage is man-woman is free.
Australians didn't vote yes to allow their fellow Australians to be dragged before courts and tribunals.
The many Liberals and Nationals politicians who helped force the same-sex marriage plebiscite and who backed the change, have collaborated with the hard Left of politics which is no friend of mainstream values.
The Morrison Government has a big freedom of speech and freedom of conscience mess on its hands.
Many naïve politicians thought the plebiscite was a way to get same-sex marriage off the agenda.
Well, it kind of did but what they were blind to was the on-going consequences which will cause the government a world of pain for years to come.
The only way to solve this is to start pushing back on the political demands of groups like Equality Australia and their radical rainbow agenda.
This political movement is used to getting its way and does not like being told no.
It is clever, and continues to co-opt conservative politicians to its cause. Just last week it co-opted the Nationals member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, as the co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of LGBTIQ Australians.
Now we should all be friends of LGBTIQ Australians but friendship is not the true agenda of the parliamentary group.
It has an anti-freedom policy agenda and it is flexing its muscles by supporting Colvin taking Ballarat Christian College to court.
Equality Australia and its friends group embedded in the federal parliament continually demonises the Morrison Government’s attempts to protect freedoms as “enabling prejudice”. Why is O’Dowd helping them?
O’Dowd, undoubtedly a nice bloke from conservative heartland in Central Queensland, has become what Vladimir Putin termed a “useful idiot”.
O’Dowd should take a look at how his NSW state colleague’s collaboration with the hard Left’s Alex Greenwich (a former co-chair of the Yes Campaign) is working out over the issue of abortion-to-birth.
For too long, the Left’s agenda has been aided and abetted by conservatives who should know better.
We are only just scratching the surface of Equality Australia’s push to teach children that their gender is fluid. That is the next tsunami coming parents’ way.
Australians don’t want to see more rainbow-inspired court cases. They just want to get on with their lives and live and let live without the acrimony of rainbow identity politics dominating the public discourse.
Freedom for the “quiet Australians” depends on the Morrison government having the will and the courage to draw a line in the sand.
Here’s the text of The Australian’s story:
Teacher sues school in faith test case
FEDERAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
- 5:00PM SEPTEMBER 13, 2019
A Victorian teacher has launched legal action against a Christian college claiming she was discriminated against over her political and religious beliefs in support of same sex marriage, setting-up a test case over faith-based protections for religious schools.
Former Ballarat Christian College teacher Rachel Colvin — backed by Equality Australia — lodged the claim with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal this week ahead of the school being served on Tuesday.
The Weekend Australian understands Ms Colvin, who had been employed between 2008-11 before returning part-time in July-2016, resigned in February following failed attempts to keep her on staff.
Ballarat Christian College principal Ken Nuridin said Ms Colvin’s claim alleges discrimination in breach of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Victoria).
Clause 8 of the school’s enterprise agreement lodged with the Fair Work Commission in 2017 states “all employees are expected by the college to possess and maintain a firm personal belief consistent with the Statement of Faith of the college”.
Following same sex marriage being legalised in December, 2017, the school amended its Statement of Faith through its constitution outlining its position on marriage.
“A marriage can only be between a male and a female, and upon this foundation alone should children be conceived and families formed,” the constitution says.
The teacher formally notified the school of her objections to the statement in a letter on August 14, and was directed to meet with the chaplain and a female member of the school leadership to discuss her views. The college indicated she was free to hold her views personally but was required to support and teach in accordance with the beliefs of the school, which Ms Colvin was allegedly unwilling to do.
Mr Nuridin said the school had made public its views on marriage as far back as 2015, before Ms Colvin was re-employed. Graffiti vandals targeted the school after it publicly opposed marriage equality.
“The updated Statement of Faith merely captured the long held beliefs of the college so it came as no surprise to staff and I’ve not heard of any other concerns being expressed. The college is surprised by the claim so long after the resignation and we are seeking advice on what response to take. This includes seeking advice on any exemptions under the Victorian or Commonwealth laws,” Mr Nuridin told The Weekend Australian.
Mr Nuridin said it would be “devastating” if the college could not teach its beliefs and hire staff “who will adhere to those beliefs”.
He claimed they had followed the processes set out in the school’s enterprise agreement and “sought to find a solution with the teacher”.
“This process was yet to be finalised when she resigned. We heard nothing since that until receiving the claim earlier this week.”
Attorney-General Christian Porter, who is consulting with religious and legal stakeholders on his draft religious discrimination bill, said as a “general principle” the legislation addressed the rights of faith-based schools to adhere to their religious beliefs.
“The Religious Discrimination Bill sets out that religious schools do not discriminate by conducting themselves in accordance with their faith in the sense that they may make decisions that allow for the school to select students and staff of the same faith as that taught by the school,” Mr Porter told The Weekend Australian.
Ms Colvin, a married mother-of-three, on Friday claimed she was forced to quit after refusing to adhere to the school’s policy opposing same-sex marriage. The “committed Christian” alleged she was forced to resign over her views, which was disputed by the college.
“I am devastated by what happened. I loved my job. I am an extremely hard worker and loyal to a fault, and to have it end the way it did was, at first, professionally humiliating. I see it as a God-given opportunity to stand up for what is right, to represent what God is really about: loving others,” Mrs Colvin told NewsCorp.
Christian Schools Australia executive officer Mark Spencer said “activist groups like Equality Australia will back claims like this to impose their views on every school across the country”.
“When will they stop? There is a clear agenda here to impose one view of marriage on all Australians, you cannot be allowed to hold a different view it seems,” Mr Spencer said.