Supporters of same sex marriage argue that opponents of gay marriage have nothing to fear. Malcolm Turnbull has described those who claim legalising gay marriage would undermine the institution as ‘dripping with the worst sort of hypocrisy’. Federal Finance Minister Penny Wong says that ‘opponents of same sex marriage have nothing to fear.’
However in Canada hundreds of Canadians have faced legal proceedings for opposing same-sex ‘marriage’ in the public sphere following its introduction in 2005, it has been reported. Yet no mention is ever made of this by supporters of gay marriage in Australia.
Within five years of marriage being redefined in Canada, an estimated two to three hundred cases have been brought against individuals, mostly Christians, who have opposed same-sex marriage in the public sphere. The proceedings have been brought at employment boards, courts, and human rights commissions.
A number of employees have been dismissed from their jobs because they have maintained a conscientious objection to same-sex marriage. Businesses have been sued and churches have been threatened with sanctions over their religious beliefs.
Examples from Canada
Recent examples include:
- A television anchor on a prominent sports show was immediately dismissed after he posted his support for “the traditional and true meaning of marriage” on Twitter.
- A Roman Catholic bishop in Alberta, Fred Henry, was charged with a human-rights violation for writing a letter to local churches outlining the Catholic position on marriage.
- A Christian organisation in Ontario working with some of the most marginalised disabled people in Canada was taken to court after objecting to the marriage of one of its homosexual employees. The organisation faced an ultimatum and had to choose between changing its hiring and employment policy or being closed down.
- An evangelical Christian marriage commissioner in Saskatchewan was successfully sued for refusing to marry a homosexual couple, despite assisting the couple by putting them in touch with another marriage commissioner who would be willing to conduct the ceremony.
- A campaign has now begun in Canada to remove tax-free status from churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Some Canadian provinces are even considering laws to forbid teachers in private schools from teaching that traditional marriage is the ideal.
Michael Coren, writing for the National Review Online, said:
“Once gay marriage becomes law, critics are often silenced by the force of the law. The Canadian litany of pain, firings, and social and political polarization and extremism is extraordinary and lamentable, and we haven’t even begun to experience the mid and long-term results of this mammoth social experiment.
“I seldom say it, but for goodness’ sake, learn something from Canada.”
Canada is not the only country with same-sex marriage laws that has witnessed subsequent restrictions on religious freedom.
A few weeks ago new laws were introduced in Denmark requiring all Established Evangelical Lutheran churches to perform same-sex marriages.
Individual ministers can opt-out of performing the ceremonies, but Bishops will be forced, sometimes against their conscience, to find a replacement minister to perform the ceremonies.
Some campaigners in Denmark are now calling for the ceremonies to be compulsory for non-Lutheran churches as well, including the Catholic Church.
When same-sex marriage is introduced, religious freedom and freedom of speech is crushed. Is this what we want in Australia?
If same-sex marriage becomes legal in Australia, we are likely to witness a similar surge of proceedings brought against Christians in the public sphere, who will be penalised for having a biblical sexual ethic.”
Adapted from National ReviewShare