“The proposed marriage plebiscite is the idea of democracy made manifest. Let the people speak — and be heard.” - Jennifer Oriel, The Australian
The marriage debate has revealed just how low some agendas will stoop to have their way. Extremists supporting same-sex marriage recently campaigned against an event in which Marriage Alliance was involved, threatening hotel staff and causing the event to be held in secret. The purpose of the event was to discuss and organise for the upcoming marriage plebiscite. Jennifer Oriel in The Australian commented on this extraordinary display of intimidatory tactics:
The violent bigotry of the anti-democratic Left emerged once more when gay marriage activists forced the censorship of a group hoping to discuss the proposed plebiscite in relation to Christian ideas about marriage. Not content with targeting gay politicians who dissent from the Left party line, activists allegedly threatened violence against hotel staff for agreeing to host the small Christian group meeting. As reported by David Crowe in The Weekend Australian, the Accor Hotels group was so concerned about the threatening calls by gay marriage activists that it cancelled the function. The silencing of Christians by Left activists represents a gross violation of the human rights to freedom of thought and speech, freedom of movement and assembly.
Spokespeople for the event, which sought to bring together community and religious leaders, have labelled the threats as a direct attack on freedom of speech and freedom of association.
“We have chosen to reconsider our arrangements for the event next week due to our concern for the safety of the hotel staff, and our commitment to a reasonable and respectful debate,” said Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Lyle Shelton.
Additionally, Shelton noted that this is what will happen to all Australians’ freedom of speech and freedom of association if marriage is redefined. Columnist Andrew Bolt agreed with him, saying that the “ruthless attack” on the character of people like Shelton, including on their freedom to meet, is a warning of what will come if the law is changed to allow same-sex marriage.
Their voices were joined by those of other spokespeople for the event.
“Treating people who believe in the traditional understanding of marriage as proponents of bigotry or hate-speech, is beneath our country. We are a respectful and intelligent nation. The Australian people must be allowed to have their say on this issue. We continue to call for calm and reasonable debate in our society,” said Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP.
Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies also commented, “The foundations of our society include freedom of speech and freedom of religion - that’s something both sides of the debate should be able to agree on and something that all Australians should cherish.”
As Oriel pointedly noted, the ‘Green-Left’ are making it clear that they believe the state should rule the people, not the reverse. Their intense opposition to holding a plebiscite shows that they will stop at nothing – even threats of violence and other forms of intimidation – in order to deny Australians the opportunity to publicly engage on issues that form the foundation of society:
A part of the reason that the marriage debate is so angry is that the Green-Left is hostile to the exercise of public reason. Like children who throw tantrums because they lack verbal fluency, Green-Left politicians must learn to use their words. It is possible that they do not know how to discuss the question of gay marriage because they are uneducated in the philosophy of marriage, family and society. An intelligent person would take that ignorance as an opportunity to learn.
The Left was once a constructive force for public reason powered by free thought and speech, objective scholarly inquiry, logic and the art of rhetoric. But in the 21st century, the Left has become what it once fought; a stifling orthodoxy of irrational establishment conformists who dominate by means of oppression and rule from above without reason.
The Australian people deserve - and have a right - to democratically decide the issue of same-sex marriage in our country. We have a right to talk about these issues without fear of harm to ourselves, our reputations, or those around us. And we have the right to vote. Let the people speak; let the people decide.