Advocates for marriage equality have accused the Australian Christian Lobby of attempting to curb free speech with a complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority against an edition of the Channel 7 Sunrise program that supports marriage equality to be broadcast tomorrow.
Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich, said:
“Several newspapers including the Melbourne Age, the Hobart Mercury and the Adelaide Advertiser have all supported marriage equality without the ACL trying to censor them and I can’t see why the Sunrise program is being treated differently.”
“It is the right of media outlets to editorialize for or against marriage equality as they see fit and the ACL should not be attempting to violate this right.”
Meanwhile, a group of clergy from three different Christian denominations have thanked the Sunrise program for supporting the campaign for marriage equality, and have rejected attacks on the program and its sponsors by the Australian Christian Lobby.
The three clergy include Surry Hills Baptist pastor Mike Hercock, ACT Uniting Church minister Roger Munson, and Victorian Anglican Minister, Prof Emeritus Rev Gary Bouma.
“We thank Sunrise and marie claire for supporting the marriage equality campaign. Jesus preached a message of inclusion not exclusion, but the Australian Christian Lobby’s message to same-sex couples is that they do not belong,” said Rev Roger Munson.
“The Australian Christian Lobby’s position on this issue is not shared by most Christians. A Galaxy poll in August last year found that 53% of Australian Christians supported marriage equality, and the Victorian Council of Churches affirmed that the Australian Christian Lobby does not represent all Christians.”
Pastor Mike Hercock said the denial of marriage marginalises same-sex couples.
“There is a consistent, dehumanising argument presented by the Australian Christian Lobby that attempts to create fear and demonise gay people and their desire for their relationship to be recognised in marriage. This is simply not Christian.”
Prof Emeritus Rev Gary Bouma said the Australian Christian Lobby’s actions send a message that “fails to respect the reality of the love and commitment of same-sex couples seeking marriage. It is discriminatory, dehumanising and contrary to the Gospel of Christ.”
For more on the ACL complaint go to: http://www.acl.org.au/2012/06/mr-acl-challenges-7%e2%80%99s-sunrise-programme%e2%80%99s-media-ethics-over-%e2%80%9ci-do%e2%80%9d-campaign/
For more information, including contacts for the above clergy, contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335.