Sydney Catholic diocese writes businesses about marriage

Timothy Kincaid

June 24th, 2015

aussie ads

A number of Australian and global businesses have been putting pressure on the Australian government to support marriage equality. Representing some of the biggest players in the Australian economy, they have been jointly running advertisements in papers announcing their support and asking other businesses to join them.

This obviously concerns the Catholic Church, which opposes equality. But its response is baffling. (ABC)

The Catholic Church in Sydney is sending letters to companies that publicly support same-sex marriage, expressing its “grave concern” about their stance.

The Archdiocese of Sydney has targeted some of the 150 businesses that put their names and logos to recent newspaper advertisements supporting gay marriage.

While it’s a bit odd that they write the letters at all, it’s the language and tone that are perplexing.

“It is… with grave concern that I write to you about the Marriage Equality for Australians campaign,” it reads.

“You are publically supporting a strategic, political and well-funded campaign designed to pressure the Federal Government into changing the Marriage Act.

“For corporations to speak on such issues… is indeed overstepping their purpose and it is to be strongly resisted.”

I can’t imagine that anyone opening a letter from the Catholic Church informing them that they are “overstepping their purpose” is going to receive that news without objection. And after the Church has been yowling about marriage for months, to tell someone else that they should not express an opinion reveals a level of arrogance that is astounding.

The Church then includes a not-so-subtle threat

“You may be aware that the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney is a significant user of goods and services from many corporations, both local and international,” it reads.

Needless to say, the company providing ABC with the story was not amused. Nor were they inclined to back away from their support.

Maurice Blackburn principal Liberty Sanger said she was not sure what the intention of the letter was, but either way the law firm would not be intimidated.

“Now it may well be that their intention was to try and frighten us into not participating in the debate,” she said.

“If that was the objective, well it’s had… obviously had the opposite effect.

This heavy-handed tone deaf missive might have been effecting in the 1500’s. But I very much suspect that it has only earned ill will from the businesses in Australia, along with the Australian people.


June 24th, 2015

It is encouraging to see that they’re being taken about as seriously as … well …


June 24th, 2015

Anti-gay groups have a long history of wanting pro-gay businesses to shut up, while celebrating businesses who “stay out of the debate” by clearly condemning same-sex marriage. Of course, that’s politics in general: Neutral means promoting the status quo; Minding your own business means keeping quite if you disagree with my opinion.


June 24th, 2015

The leaders of the Pedophile Protection Cult will never learn until the cult houses fall down around their ears.

Ben in oakland

June 24th, 2015

And here I thought that threats of boycotts and threats to peoples livelihoods were intolerant, bullying tactics used only by intolerant bullies of the Gaystapo.

Who knew there was a Christapo?

Eric Payne

June 25th, 2015

It’s not a “Christapo,” @Ben in Oakland, it’s concerned clergy wanting to save the souls of all those in Australia. It’s gentle, kind and loving persuasion, not the jack-booted tactics of those demonically possessed sodomite fornicators and those that are afraid of the demonically possessed sodomite fornicators.

Can’t you see the difference?


June 25th, 2015

Looks as if the letter from the Sydney archdiocese is going over just about as well as Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has gone over in San Francisco.


June 25th, 2015

They’ve had success with the threat to withdraw business before. I recall back in the 1990s, a dairy company pulled an ad because the Catholic Church deemed it promoting sexual license. The ad featured a young couple in bed, neither wearing rings.

The Church threatened to cancel all contracts with the company to supply their schools with milk. It would’ve represented a considerable loss and they caved. After all, it was only an ad.

I guess with success like that the Church must see value in issuing the threat of boycott, only this time, it’s not about the trifling matter of a sexy advertisement. This is a question of civil rights. They’ve bitten off rather more than they can chew.

Mark F.

June 26th, 2015

Well, they have a right to boycott if they wish. I just don’t think it will have the impact they think it will.

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