Christian Lobby Opens New Front

Crusader Knight: pic Giorgio Minguzzi

The Australian Christian Lobby has decided it can’t win what it wants in Parliament, plans to shift the battleground to the courts.

Chrys Stevenson has written eloquently about the declining relevance of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), and their failure to shift public opinion in their favour. She noted:

Despite the millions of dollars the Australian Christian Lobby has ploughed into demonising the LGBTIQ community, it has decisively lost the battle for Australian hearts and minds.

They appear to have arrived at the same conclusion themselves. They will now try to enforce their cultic doctrines on the Australian public by other means. Yesterday I posted about the new Human Rights Law Alliance (HRLA) the ACL is attempting to fund. I asked

The question comes to mind: with this talk of “many hundreds of thousands of dollars”, one wonders quite what the ACL is planning next.

Today I received an unsolicited letter from Managing Director of the ACL, Lyle Shelton, answering the question (you can read the complete letter at the end of this post). They plan to use the legal system to try to overturn the will of the people, as expressed in parliament through legislation. Shelton writes:

…if your voice is wilfully ignored in parliament… the next line of defence is the courts. Courts are where laws are interpreted and determined if they’re constitutional, and where precedents are set. It’s not law unless it’s proved in the courts.

The letter makes several references to the sorts of laws the ACL hopes the courts will strike down, if HRLA can raise the very large sums of money needed to run cases all the way to the High Court. These include:

  • The ban on protestors picketing abortion clinics and approaching the women seeking a termination
  • Defend doctors rights to ‘practice according to their conscience”, e.g. refuse contraception, abortion
  • Reverse the ban on street preachers in streets and shopping malls
  • Protect people who express their Christian beliefs at work from dismissal
  • Stop or reverse any change to the current definition of marriage
  • Block or reverse any ‘right to die’ legislation

This all couched in terms of “protecting your religious freedom”. Actually it’s all about using the legal system to obstruct change, and protect the ability of Christaliban organisations like the ACL to interfere in the lives of other people.

There are plenty of lawyers involved with AME/A4E. If they are wondering what use they and their war chest might be now we probably won’t need to fight a plebiscite campaign, here is their answer. A legal powerhouse to win, protect and defend LGBTI rights through the courts

We’re going to need it.

Download (PDF, 426KB)

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)