An 18-year-old Christian has lost her job after publicly sharing her opposition to same-sex marriage in Australia on Facebook.
Madeline, who was working as a contractor for Capital Kids’ Parties in Canberra, changed her Facebook profile picture to say “It’s OK to vote no”, in reference to the ongoing postal vote on legalising same-sex marriage.
Her employer, Madlin Sims, said this was “homophobic” and could not be tolerated.
She said: “Today I fired a staff member who made it public knowledge that they feel ‘it’s okay to vote no’.
“Advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech. Voting no is homophobic. Advertising your homophobia is hate speech.”
She added: “It’s not okay to vote no.”
Sims also claimed that Madeline’s views made her a danger to children, adding that she “could not risk her voicing those opinions to any children of ours”.
Madeline was not an employee of the business and so could not claim for unfair dismissal.
While she felt she had been discriminated against due to her religion, Madeline said she had no plans to take Sims to court.
In light of Madeline’s dismissal, Australian Coalition for Marriage said that ‘yes’ campaign leaders needed to be honest about the implications of same-sex marriage on free speech.
Spokeswoman Monica Doumit said that despite repeated claims to the contrary, free speech is at risk if same-sex marriage is legalised.
She said that Madeline’s sacking indicated “an appetite on the part of ‘yes’ campaigners not only to silence, but punish, those who disagree.
“This won’t stop if the law changes. On the contrary, same-sex marriage activists will feel emboldened by the change in law”, adding “We’ve seen it happen overseas, and you would have to be very naïve to think it wouldn’t happen here.”
She concluded: “If same sex marriage becomes law, anyone who disagrees with gay marriage could face similar situations or worse.
Redefinition in the UK
In a recent article in The Spectator Australia, columnist David Sergeant said that redefining marriage in the UK has had wide-ranging consequences that the people of Australia should look to as a warning.
He wrote: “In the United Kingdom it has become abundantly clear that redefinition has affected many people, across many spheres. At first glance, these spheres appeared distinct from marriage redefinition. However, subsequent changes have proved that they are entirely intertwined.”
He said that freedom of religion had suffered particularly, and while there had been promises and assurances about religious exemptions, campaigners “now work tirelessly to undermine them”.