This story appeared in The Australian on the weekend.
A ferocious campaign against Christian groups planning to meet on same-sex marriage has forced them to cancel the event at a major hotel next week, amid claims of physical threats from marriage-equality advocates.
The Accor Hotels group confirmed late yesterday that the function had been abandoned after a social media storm triggered phone calls that “rattled” employees and left the company concerned about the safety of staff and guests.
In the first test of the “civil” debate promised for a plebiscite on gay marriage, advocates for the “yes” case were being blamed last night for the kind of “hate speech” that Bill Shorten and others have claimed would come from the “no” case.
A spokeswoman for the Mercure Sydney Airport Hotel said the campaign by marriage-equality advocates had forced the company to close the hotel’s Facebook page, sparked phone calls that disturbed hotel staff and escalated the problem to the company’s headquarters. “We’ve conducted an objective review regarding the safety and security of our hotel guests and staff,” she said. “Following this review the event will no longer take place next week.”
[…]A joint statement from the conveners said the hotel staff received “threats of violence” after the details of the private event were published on the internet. “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,” ACL managing director Lyle Shelton said.
When gay marriage was being passed in the USA, we were told that this would not affect pro-marriage people in any way. Well, I think we do know now that expressing disagreement with gay marriage will affect you. You may have property vandalized. You may receive threats of violence. You may lose your job. You may lose your life savings. You may lose your business. You may lose your right to free speech. You may lose your right to freedom of association. And as the domestic terrorism attack on the Family Research Council by an armed gay activist showed, you may even lose your life.
What is concerning to me is that I don’t hear anyone in the media or in the government recognizing where the real intolerance is coming from. Do gay activists have any obligation to respect the legal rights of those who disagree with them?