#1157 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 29 November 2015
As Australians, we live in a community where differences of opinion, belief, taste, and lifestyle are tolerated – within the bounds of the law.
But when the law changes to outlaw freedom of speech, as happened recently in Tasmania, I’m left wondering what’s happening to this country.
Tasmanian Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous is facing criminal conviction after a complaint to the state’s Anti-Discrimination Commission for authorising distribution of a booklet about his church’s teaching on marriage to parents who had chosen Catholic education for their children.
This unjust Tasmanian law reverses the burden of proof and, even if the complaint against the Archbishop is dismissed, he will have to pay his own costs.
Future defendants may be advised not to contest their case, as the cost of proving their innocence may be more than they can afford. Sadly we can expect further such attempts to silence truth and goodness in the days ahead.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.