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Private Organizations Shouldn’t Be Able To Discriminate Cries Group Seeking Laws To Enable Discrimination

Last year, Cory Bernardi wrote a blog entitled, “Freedom to Refuse Must Be Defended”, which included the following:

“And this is the essence of the dilemma we now face; is it okay for any business to say they simply don’t want your business for any or no reason? Personally I think it is, but that freedom has to be defended and protected so that it applies to any business, no matter what side of a debate they are on.”

Seems a fairly clear position. Recently, however, something seems to have changed his mind.

You see, the Coalition for Marriage – a rather strange title, given that they were formed with the sole aim of preventing same sex people from marrying each other, thus reducing the number of potential marriages – had their booking cancelled at Wrest Point Casino.

This, of course, was outrageous. As Cory said, “…there are legitimate questions to be asked why a venue that has been booked and paid for has suddenly become unavailable with no reason given about why. If nothing else, it is a terrible business practice.”

Until the University of Tasmania changed their minds and made space available, there was going to be nowhere for these people to tell us all how marriage equality was going to lead to businesses being forced to provide services to people when they didn’t approve of the way such people lived their lives.

Anyone else see a certain irony here?

Of course, the Coalition for Marriage is only concerned about people being forced to provide services when it offends their religious beliefs. Like I suggested the other week, do atheists and agnostics need to start their own religion in order to be able to exclude people?

Imagine the following:

I appoint myself as High Priest of the Church of St Adamsmith, a denomination of Tax Avoiding Economic Rationalists. Like all churches, we pay no tax, but in our case it’s a religious belief. Anybody can make a tax deductible contribution and in return feel the Church’s generous bounty when it returns 99% of their gift, saving them the need for offices in the Cayman Islands. (Ok, I realise there’s probably a flaw in this, but stick with it. Gee, if people can re-elect Malcolm Turnbull, it’s not much to ask you to stick with the ridiculous for a few moments.)

Anyway, the Coalition for Marriage try to book our venue…

High Priest Rossleigh – Sorry, we can’t help you.
Coalition for Marriage – But why not?
HPR – Your activities offend our religious principles!
CFM – In what way?
HPR – I don’t like your lifestyle.
CFM – What’s wrong with our lifestyle?
HPR – It’s unnatural.
CFM – What do you mean by that?
HPR – We’ll, it’s different from mine.
CFM – That’s just idiotic. Just because we have a different lifestyle doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to book your venue!
HPR – Stop bullying me and calling me names.
CFM – But what you’re saying makes no sense.
HPR – I’m just worried if I let you spread your message, we’ll end up with polygamous marriages like Solomon and all those other biblical kings.
CFM – We just want to book a venue…
HPR – Yes, but it’s a slippery slope, isn’t it? First, a venue, then you’ll be advocating the stoning of adulterous women.
CFM – Nobody wants to introduce stoning!
HPR – We’re also worried that a lot of you are Christian.
CFM – What’s wrong with that?
HPR – We’ll, wasn’t the founder a Middle-Eastern Jew? We don’t think we want that sort of person in our venue?
CFM – You can’t exclude us because Jesus was Jewish!
HPR – So, it’d be ok to exclude you because he was middle-eastern?
CFM – It’s illegal to be anti-Semitic.
HPR – Can we get an exemption if we say it’s part of our religion?

Yes, of course, nobody should be given an exemption from racial or religious vilification. That’d just be wrong. It’d be suggesting that somehow their human rights were disposable.

Sexual preference, on the other hand…


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  1. Peter F

    At least Cory is maintaining some consistency . . . .. mad, but consistent.

  2. Terry2

    A friend who is always trying to find a middle-way came up with a solution for bakers who are not happy about baking a cake and then putting two little men or two little ladies on the top ; this baker presumably has no problem about putting a little man and a little lady on his cake.

    So, my friend suggests that all cakes be free of little people and that when you pick up your cake they have a box near the door full of little men and little ladies [and dogs and cats etc] and you select what you want on the way out.

    There, Cory, problem solved !

  3. wam

    What sort of couple would quibble? Just buy a cake and put whomever you want on it. Surely, the bakers can hire who they want, checking on facebook to determine gender, they just can’t advertise or fire without a reason?
    rossleigh the picture is most disturbing is it of god or satan?

  4. Andrew J. Smith

    No lawyer, but the same logic would not pass scrutiny if applied to other attributes e.g. refusal of service to Asian, Moslem, African, homosexual, Jews etc. would be viewed as discrimination?

    What we see, and one assumes Bernardi like the LNP and micro parties do, take on board protest issues of US white nativist conservative Christian right.

    The political media strategy is to highlight difference to corral and consolidate their own supporters through highlighting the difference of others or the ‘others’; battle of good vs evil.

    I doubt it stands up theologically or legally?

  5. Jaquix

    Love Terry2’s solution for picky bakers! Honestly can’t see that many (any?) bakers in Australia would turn down business. Nor should they be allowed to. Cory Bernardi and ilk, are so hypocritical. The results of these stupid, wasteful, hurtful but also often inspiring, postal survey, will take a bit of wind out of their sails. But then they will ramp up the religious freedom stuff and off we go again.

  6. Kyran

    This is so funny. The ‘Coalition for Marriage’ released an ‘app’ on Wednesday.
    “The app will provide turn by turn directions to your nearest neighbour who is yet to hear from the campaign,” the group told supporters in an email. “And it will give you talking points for when you get to the door.”

    Huh? How could that be?

    “It is not entirely clear how the app generates the list of addresses, although the Coalition for Marriage said the data came from the Australian census and the government’s freely available ‘Geocoded National Address File’.”

    What dastardly geniuses could come up with such a plan?

    “The Freedom Team app was developed by US company Political Social Media LLC under the name uCampaign.
    The company specialises in app-based political campaigns and has built platforms for a number of conservative campaign agendas including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, conservative US Senator Ted Cruz, Brexit’s “Vote Leave” and America’s National Rifle Association.”


    No, not yet. That’s not the funny bit. According to the most reliable source of information in the 21st century, twitter, the ‘app’ only had one review. Awarding 1 out of a possible 5 stars;

    “This app turned me gay.
    I used this app to find my neighbours. I had no idea, but it turns out they lived right next door. I wanted to tell them to vote “no” to marriage equality, but it turns out they were actually a really cool gay couple with a nice house and fabulous furniture, and they made me a cappuccino in their really posh coffee machine, and by the time I left I was also gay.
    One star, would not recommend.”

    “Of course, the Coalition for Marriage is only concerned about people being forced to provide services when it offends their religious beliefs.”

    In unrelated news, an ‘allegedly’ celebrated celibate cross dresser appeared in court this week pertaining to the matter of undisclosed alleged possible crimes against children. None of the reports contained any comment by the ‘allegedly’ celebrated celibate cleric on the matter of equality. Given his previous edicts, his silence now speaks volumes.
    Equality can only be real when the proposition ‘some are more equal than others’ is no longer acceptable.
    Thank you Mr Brisbane and commenters. Take care

  7. etnorb

    Sadly it appears we are saddled with idiot brains such as Corey Bananas & the rest of his crazy lot! What a great read as usual Rossleigh! Corey is the idiot who tried to stop an Adelaide school from having a “wear a dress day”, raising money to help educate African girls. This cause raised almost $300,000, so it was a real success, beyond even the schools hopes. There was a photo of Bananas & his wife in their home, & in the background was a rather large painting of one of the most famous male to female impersonators–Bary Humphries as Dame Edna!–so much for his hipocrasy! Of course he is also the idiot that thinks this gay marriage vote will allow people to marry animals or bridges etc! WTF?? I really wonder if he is for real & is perhaps a “bit” insane. Really, the Yes vote only allows for gay people legally marry one another, it has absolutely nothing to do with any religious beliefs, paedophelia, “gay messages” being given to our school kids, nothing to do with polygamy or multiple partner marriages etc etc. Just what is wrong with ALL these anti-gay marriage idiots & their stupid,anti marriage crap?

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