Freedom to refuse must be defended

Source: The Catholic LeaderThe brave new world is upon us. Freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of speech are all under threat by the politically correct social justice warriors (SJW). Their modus operandi is to pressure businesses, both large and small, into conformity with their agenda.

We have myriad examples in recent years, like when the Greens party led the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Jewish businesses. The rainbow lobby have exerted their influence on our corporates to support and fund the homosexual marriage campaign. When one of our biggest companies, Telstra, withdrew their public support for the campaign they were targeted by the SJW and bullied back into acquiescence.

Rainbow lobbyists have also targeted small businesses in an attempt to stop them being involved with groups that have a different perspective on marriage or the Safe Schools Coalition program.

I personally experienced this when a speaking engagement was cancelled due to threats of violence by sections of the queer movement. It also happened a few weeks ago to the Marriage Alliance Forum when a conference had to be cancelled because of intimidation and threats to staff at the venue. No sensible person can support such behaviour.

However, there is a difference between that type of conduct and the non-coerced decision of an individual business to decide they don’t want your business – for whatever reason.

It happened last week to publishing company Connor Court. Their usual printer, McPherson’s, refused to print the book Stealing from a Child: the Injustice of ‘Marriage Equality’ due to the subject matter and content.

My guess is McPherson’s management only read the title and wouldn’t have a clue about the actual content, but the author Dr David van Gend defended their right to make the decision they did.

Van Gend said “…it is within their right as a private company to discriminate against people like me on ideological grounds …We are not like some people who would take anti-discrimination action. We do not think those sort of laws are worthy of a free society and we do not use them.”

Not everyone shares Dr van Gend’s views but in this instance he is right.

However, I cannot help but contrast the reaction if the boot was on the other foot, so to speak. If a printer refused to provide services to one of the sanctioned SJW causes I can only imagine all hell would break loose.

Complaints would be made, protests organised, owners named and shamed and legal action would be forthcoming.

We have seen as much happen to the Catholic Church in Tasmania for upholding Catholic doctrine. We have seen bakers fined in America for refusing to support homosexual weddings and we have seen a Christian baker in South Australia targeted for protests merely for saying they don’t support redefining marriage.

And yet, when commercial television networks or taxpayer-funded public broadcasters have refused to carry advertisements supporting traditional marriage there has been little comment. 

These display a similar conscientious refusal but completely different responses.

And this is the essence of the dilemma we now face; is it okay for any business to say they simply don’t want your business for any or no reason? Personally I think it is, but that freedom has to be defended and protected so that it applies to any business, no matter what side of a debate they are on.


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  • commented 2016-10-21 14:07:33 +1030
    Janine Adam, your assertion that marriage has anything, other than symbolism at best or anachronism at worst, to do with procreation is simply stupid.
  • commented 2016-10-21 14:04:16 +1030
    Businesses can refuse a customer only on the basis of their inability to pay or their being legally not permitted the product or service. Refusal on any other grounds – especially sexuality (gender, religion, age, etc.) – is discrimination. Bigotry.
  • commented 2016-09-30 19:09:56 +0930
    Jon Norris,
    Marriage has existed before the creation of government and the church, but it has always been a man-woman sexual union which can reproduce new-life (natural human reproduction). You’re an atheist, but that shouldn’t stop you believing in natural human reproduction. After thousands of years of marriage being at the heart of natural human reproduction, somehow you believe it should be changed to mean scientific experimentation of human reproduction – a male skin cell changed into a egg to be fertilised by a sperm to grow 9 months in a rent-a-womb from a poor woman in Asia. Some of us have a moral conscience and we don’t want to participate in a scientific experimentation of human reproduction involving abusive sexual activities. Best wishes to you, but I don’t believe in your oxymoron “same-sex marriage” as this is a “sham marriage.”
  • commented 2016-09-30 10:35:39 +0930
    Well I guess if someone is ‘against’ someone else it’s everyone’s right to decide which side they are on and whether they want anything to do with either person/business. That’s what happens when individuals have different ways of thinking and morals.
  • commented 2016-09-29 10:56:39 +0930
    Well said Cory, Bravo, It is great to read some morally honest and good ethical views. It is a bit sad when I can’t turn on radio / TV or flip a news paper page without being bombarded with gay propaganda. It would be great to see detour from the current path Australia is on.
  • commented 2016-09-29 09:55:03 +0930
    This divisive debate about gay marriage has gone on too long. Some gays don’t want a debate or plebiscite because of a chance it may upset one of their brigade. Large sectors of the our community justifiably believe marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman and don’t want traditional marriage devalued. Sectors of the hard left are resorting to violence, threats and bullying to push their gay agenda as a result of the push for gay marriage.

    Turnbull is pushing gay marriage as he is totally ego driven and wants to go down in history as the PM that led the country to having some type of “progressive” change. Turnbull failed on his attempts to turn Australia into a republic so he thinks the next best “progressive” cause is to bring in gay marriage. Labor are successfully doing all they can to show Turnbull to be out of touch, ego drive, against traditional Liberal values and incompetent at bringing in reforms to make our economy competitive.

    Certainly there are gays in committed relationships that justifiably want some type of legally binding contract between themselves. That want could be met by having a legal contract that mirrors most legal aspects of a marriage contract except it recognises the gay contract as being different to a marriage contract between a man and a woman. That difference should be based on recognising the reality that gay couples can’t naturally have children and that they don’t get rights to adopt, have IVF and sue, bully and intimidate others who may not support gay relationships.

    When it comes to making some type of compromise to get gay couples bound up in a legal contract I expect that would be a compromise acceptable to most people.
  • commented 2016-09-29 00:27:21 +0930
    Jon Norris stop wasting our time leftist scumbag and any other scum that wants to try and cry wolf that gays and tranny’s and pedophiles who started safe schools are being bullied and not being given more than they deserve, remember who the little old humble gentleman Cory Bernardi is and let the poor man speak common sense and morality for goodness sake and for Australians sake!

    I stand with Mr Bernardi and Dear Pauline Hanson, Do You??
  • commented 2016-09-28 23:19:28 +0930
    Cool. I’m atheist and I can refuse all religions? Or I can refuse all non white people if I’m racist? You are doing the same as those who want to put sharia law above our law. I respect faith and alternate views but you don’t get to dictate secular laws. If you want that, join the Hanson party or parties that rule in Iran that are theocracies that control activity based on religion. Hypocrites!
  • commented 2016-09-28 22:28:22 +0930
    The LGBTIAQ lobby-dictators want the Australian government to establish a legal “sham marriage practice” for the purpose of 2 people having a right to purchase a legal state marriage certificate as this will become the only evidence of a marriage in order to get the legal status of “marriage” or a legal “sham marriage.”

    Imagine if the pro-abortionists were demanding the government to change the word “pregnancy” to be used instead of “abortion.” Then they could claim that the legal practice of pregnancy (abortion) allows a woman the right to have control over her pregnancy (abortion). The Pro-assisted suicide movement could demand the government to change the word “Life” to be used instead of suicide. They could then claim that the legal practice of life (suicide) allows vulnerable people control over their life (suicide).

    The LGBTIAQ lobby-dictators have divided nations, governments, companies, businesses, unions, communities -churches, sporting groups -AFL, CWA, families and individuals because “same-sex marriage” is an oxymoron as marriage means difference not the same. A Christian baker can’t pretend sexual activities are the same as sexual intercourse – “one flesh” union to consummate a marriage with a possibility of creating new-life (natural human reproduction). A Christian photographer is unable to believe an unwanted neonate is bodily waste deserving of death by doctors/nurses assisting in a legal abortion. A Christian florists is unable to believe vulnerable people’s lives should end in a legal assisted suicide by doctors/nurses. The LGBTIAQ lobby dictators are demanding government to create laws which force Christians and Christian churches to change their moral conscience on homosexuality and transgender by accepting, celebrating, educating and participating in the “sham marriage practice.”

    At the heart of man-woman marriage is a sexual union which can reproduce new-life (natural human reproduction). A man-woman marriage without the sex would be a complicated legal friendship. Adultery/affairs and sexless marriage break the basic agreement to a marriage contract. If my husband and I are were ever made to purchase our legal NSW marriage certificate it will be for a divorce. Therefore, a legal state marriage certificate doesn’t keep a marriage loving, healthy, life-long and stable. I have been married for 18 1/2 years and it is recorded in a church, family history books, Family Bible and a church marriage certificate (no state number). My husband and I have made a joint tax return when we lived in America so it isn’t a requirement to show evidence of a legal state marriage certificate for a man-woman married couple.

    My husband and I live as a married couple and it isn’t the government and laws defining our moral conscience, marriage, family, husband-wife and child-parent relationships, children’s education etc. However, “same-sex marriage” has to change moral conscience, marriage, family, husband-wife and child-parent relationships and children’s education because the majority of two people of the same-sex whom live together are friends and aren’t in any type of sexual relationship. If there isn’t any sex between a same-sex couple then everyone would call this friendship, but same-sex couples have never defined their sexual activities as the same as sexual intercourse – “one flesh” union which can create new-life (natural human reproduction).

    The LGBTIAQ lobby-dictators are trying to convince the Australian government that all Australian should have a legal right to marry their same-sex friend because marriage isn’t a man-woman sexual union which can reproduce their biological children. Then the divorce law can change so people can sign a piece of paper when they want this legal consensual union (non-sexual) to end and there is no reason to wait 12 months because the majority of 2 people of the same-sex which are living together aren’t having a sexual relationship. The Family Law Act should make no reference to any biological children in a divorce because same-sex couples can’t have biological children together in a marriage. When the LGBTIAQ lobby-dictators convince the Australian government of establishing a legal “sham marriage practice,” then my husband and I don’t have to identify our “one flesh” union and our biological children with this “sham marriage practice.” The Australian Immigration authorities will have an extremely hard time identifying “sham marriages” if the government makes legal a “sham marriage practice” because an exclusive, sexual union between man-woman which can reproduce their biological children aren’t identified as marriage anymore. There are a lot of poor people around the world whom would be willing to live with someone as a friend in order to receive Australian government marriage benefits by only purchasing a legal state marriage certificate as the only evidence of marriage.

    Why should the Australian government treat a married couple (non-sexual) differently from the majority of 2 people whom live together as friends in a non-sexual relationship?
  • commented 2016-09-28 22:04:48 +0930
    Just want to say you will read comments from people who have a bone to pick with you more than the silent majority because we don’t need to comment to agree with you.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed viewing some reactions and it goes to show how blind citizens are these days.
    Keep up the good work Cory, I really respect you as an individual for having your beliefs that you strongly stand by. There definitely needs to be more politicians (and citizens) like yourself with a backbone
  • commented 2016-09-28 21:57:51 +0930
    Cory, I’m quite jealous of your ability to get these generation snowflake types to flip out. Keep up the great work.
  • commented 2016-09-28 21:22:00 +0930
    So if any Australian service provider refused to serve the descendents of Italian immigrants like yourself on the grounds that past family preferences were linked to Mussolini and by association Hitler, you would be ok with that? Seems you would. Not the brightest are we buddy?
  • commented 2016-09-28 20:42:21 +0930
    Does this include being allowed to serve racist Liberal bigots? If so, I’m all for it. Cory, I’m assuming you will mail order all of your food in future? After being refused service at multiple checkouts in the supermarket, you will learn how bad this idea is. When having to pay someone else to buy you food.. and having THEM refuse you too? you will learn.
  • commented 2016-09-28 19:37:44 +0930
    Two possible walk away a from the last election:

    1. Pickups by cross bench and one nation indicate that Australians by and large agree with Pauline Hanson’s policies and the best thing to do is go wingnut to win back votes. ( good luck out wingnutting Pauline …)

    2. Pickups by Cross bench and one nation indicate that Australians feel liberal and labour are not serving their needs and vote for others as a protest against the political class being out of touch. Perhaps listening to voters and acting in their interest might be best approach.

    Which one is more likely to be true for the majority of Australians. Can you figure it out Cory?
  • commented 2016-09-28 19:29:10 +0930
    Well done… Your well written article simply highlights what an embarrassment you are to Australia on the global stage.

    Congrats also on making the liberal party look like their stuck in the last Millenia. Handcuffing the PM just ensures more seats for the cross bench and labour.

  • followed this page 2016-09-28 19:12:49 +0930
  • commented 2016-09-28 18:26:09 +0930
    I’d make sure I’d start petitions with every airline and major hotel line to refuse service to you Cory. I’m sure a lot of them would comply, as most major companies support same sex marriage. Would make your job fun with travel.
  • commented 2016-09-28 18:25:01 +0930
    I’d make sure I’d start pertains with every airline and major hotel line to refuse service to you Cory. I’m sure a lot of them would comply, as most major companies support same sex marriage. Would make your job fun with travel.
  • commented 2016-09-28 17:49:41 +0930
    “For any or no reason”? Surely we can’t allow people to refuse service, accommodation or employment just because someone is Christian? (Or Jewish).
  • commented 2016-09-28 16:21:46 +0930
    You’re absolutely right, Cory. Believe me, if you ever came into my shop, I wouldn’t hesitate to refuse to serve you.
  • commented 2016-09-28 16:15:19 +0930
    I think you raise an interesting point, but where do you draw a line, if any?

    If a business has an intrinsic right to refuse service to a gay person based upon a conscientious objection, then the same logic dictates that businesses can refuse service to, say, an Aboriginal woman “for any or no reason”. The logical extension of your argument supports the right of a business to racially discriminate. Both Aboriginals and the LGBTI community are protected under Federal discrimination laws, so how do you reconcile this with your stated position that businesses can refuse service for any or no reason?
  • commented 2016-09-28 13:54:12 +0930
    A terrific book indeed Cory:
    And keep up your good work as well.