An Open Letter To Telstra

…and all other corporate supporters of Marriage Equality.

imageLike everyone else, I was angered by the Catholic churches surprisingly successful attempt to bully Telstra into walking back their support for marriage equality. So I’m doing something about it.

I’m partnering with Serkhan Ozturk and his public relations consultancy PR4THEPPL to push the issue further. Will you join us and add your name in support?

I have drafted the following open letter to Telstra, and to all the other publicly identified corporate supporters of equal marriage. Please read it carefully, and show your support by adding your signature in the comments, or on the stirrer Facebook page




Dear Telstra & others

Marriage Equality for Australians

Re: Letter from Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney 18 June 2015

Many thanks for taking the time to read this letter.

You may be aware that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community is a significant user of goods and services from many corporations, both local and international.

With their parents, siblings and children counted alongside them, the LGBTI community in Australia even on a conservative estimate, numbers around five million individuals.

All these people have extensive networks of employers, employees, work colleagues, neighbours, fellow parishioners, and so forth. In addition, large numbers of LGBTI tourists visit our shores each year. I only mention this to point out what an extensive, widespread, and deeply embedded demographic we represent.

Undoubtedly many of these people would be your employees, customers, partners and suppliers. It is therefore with grave concern I write to you about your support for the Catholic Church of Australia. By soft-pedalling your support for Marriage Equality and abiding by their wishes, are you aware you are publicly supporting an immensely wealthy international organisation with a proven record of systematic child abuse stretching back centuries?

The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse has uncovered scores, if not hundreds of recent cases, of the abuse of underage children by officials of this organisation. Instead of exposing the predators in their midst and handing them over to the proper authorities to face the courts, this church has:

  • Covered up their crimes
  • Moved alleged offenders to new locations where they could continue offending
  • Moved offenders overseas beyond the reach of the authorities
  • Supported offenders financially
  • Minimised compensation to victims by every legal means at their disposal
  • Destroyed internal files, and shipped others to overseas beyond the reach of Australian prosecutors, and is still refusing to release them
  • Ignored the mental torture and suicide of many hundreds of their victims
  • Posted senior officials with direct knowledge of these crimes overseas

I wonder whether you have questioned whether it is the role of a corporation such as yours to be taking instruction from such an organisation, given that they have still not accepted the depth of their culpability, nor revealed all their knowledge, nor told the truth as to what occurred within their organisation.

Have you considered that among your customers you have many families with young children, many of whom are exposed to, and might be endangered by, this predatory cartel? For corporations such as yours to endorse such organisations by not only doing business with them, but allowing them to dictate your public engagement on vital social issues, is surely overstepping the boundaries, and may even be facilitating crime. It is certainly giving in to blackmail.

For them to say that those of us who campaign for fairness and equality are seeking to destroy religion, the family, and the sanctity of marriage is surely the best joke in Christendom, given that their behavior in relation to child abuse has been probably the most successful campaign of all time in achieving precisely those ends.

Across the USA right now major corporations are making major investment decisions that may well hurt their shareholders and their bottom line; halting expansions, moving offices and factories, and cancelling contracts in states like Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, because the governments there have introduced highly discriminatory anti-LGBTI legislation. Huge companies like Apple, PayPal, even the National Basketball Association are proudly standing by the LGBTI community.

But here, one of our largest companies, Telstra, has withdrawn from campaigning for marriage equality merely for fear of losing the Catholic Church’s business. Which isn’t even their largest account, by quite some way. All in a pathetic attempt to have their cake and eat it too.

The LGBTI community is of course grateful for all the support and assistance you can offer, not because it is good marketing, but because it is the right thing to do. But it must be more than just words in an advert, logos on a website, floats in a parade. It must be more than just treating your LGBTI employees decently. All employers should treat all their employees decently.

It means standing up for us, and with us, publicly, against those, like this church, who seek to keep us down and prevent us being acknowledged as full and honoured citizens of this country.

Although a shadowy and possibly criminal clique seems to have already been given the chance to steer your marriage equality campaign despite various other stakeholders not even given the chance to discuss it, I would very much like the same opportunity as the Catholic Church has been afforded.

I look forward to your reply.


The letter from the Sydney Diocese to corporate marriage equality supporters

The letter from the Sydney Diocese to corporate marriage equality supporters


About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)