Media Release – Archbishop Calls for Free Speech and Mature Debate

Porteous - Sam Rosewarne

Family First Senator Bob Day has this morning supported the statement issued by Hobart Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous concerning the marriage debate, after the Archbishop was the subject of a complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Commission in Tasmania.

The Archbishop said he was aware there “are some in society who would seek to silence the Church on this issue”, further observing:
“This represents the rise of a new intolerance against Christianity in Australian society, and more generally a threat to freedom of speech. It is important in a democratic society like Australia that every person is free to present what they believe to be true. There should not be threats or intimidation against anyone who expresses a view in favour of traditional marriage. It is important that Australia has the opportunity for an open and free debate about the nature of marriage leading up to a plebiscite.”

Senator Day responded:

“I support free speech and have a bill in the Parliament to that effect. No one should be bigoted; no one should be obnoxious; no one should be rude or lewd; no one should be hateful or offensive; but should these things be unlawful? I don’t think so.”

“It is very concerning that on a matter of such national significance that it will require a public vote by plebiscite or referendum, we should see such censorship and intimidation of those whose views represent those of a great many Australians of good faith and conscience.”

Hobart Catholic Archbishop Porteous’ full statement can be watched here or read here.

Image: Sam Rosewarne, The Australian