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LGBT Advocates To Protest Australian Christian Lobby Conference

Community Action Against Homophobia will be leading the rally next weekend.


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CAAH/ Facebook

Activists are planning to protest the Australian Christian Lobby’s (ACL) national conference later this month.

Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) will be spearheading the protest. They say that the ACL’s continued attacks against the LGBTI community can't go on.

"We are protesting because we are sick of the ACL filling our airwaves with their homophobic obsessions," co-convenor of CAAH Cat Rose told LOTL.

The ACL was instrumental in the recent changes to the Safe Schools program. The changes include a requirement that children get parental consent before participating in lessons, and the withdrawal of government funding by 2017. The ACL said the Safe Schools program compromised the welfare of children and lead a campaign lobbying politicians to shut down the anti-bullying program.

The ACL have also been staunch opponents of the marriage equality campaign, stating that the proposed plebiscite will allow Australians to “examine the consequences” of same-sex marriage.

“The issue of same-sex marriage has gone before the parliament almost 20 times in recent years,” an ACL spokesperson said. "The plebiscite is an important way to finally resolve the matter in a democratic way.”

The ACL’s annual conference is set to be held on 23 April at the Wesley Conference Centre in Sydney and will discuss the increasing difficulty of being a Christian in Australia.

“As we live as people of faith in modern Australia, courage is needed now more than ever,” reads a statement on the conference’s website." We can draw courage from the fearless conviction of Christian heroes who have been motivated by faith… to shape their societies for good.”

The conference will feature a number of local and international speakers including Lyle Shelton, Dr Stephen Chuvura from Macquarie University, Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Divine and Dr Jefferey J Ventrella from the Alliance Defending Freedom.

“Their ideas should be met with a display of opposition from all types,” said Community Action Against Homophobia's Cat Rose. “Especially when the Alliance Defending Freedom spend their time offering legal services to anyone wanting to staunch the tide of equality, from marriage to even just decriminalising gay sex.”

Ventrella is the subject of a recent Change.org petition which asks Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, to revoke his visa. The petition, which has attracted over 600 signatures, claims Ventrella will promote bigotry and homophobia in Australia during the marriage equality debate.

“We ask that you determine that Jeffrey J Ventrella is a person who does not meet the requirements of the character assessment, and revoke his visa approval,” the petition states.

Federal treasurer and vocal opponent of marriage equality, Scott Morrison, will be one of the headline speakers for the conference. He will be joined by Eric Metaxas, a United States author and public speaker who is an outspoken critic of LGBT people and advocates for the use of ‘gay conversion’ therapy.

Morrison’s decision to speak at the ACL conference has been met with widespread backlash, with CAAH indicating they will “target” Morrison during their protest for appearing with the ACL.

“He is an elected official responsible for all the government's homophobic policies and he is speaking alongside a gay hate group. It is just so rank,” said Rose. “The whole conference shows who these people are in bed with.”

The Stop H8 protest will be held at 12:30pm outside the Wesley Conference Centre on Pitt Street. Details for the rally can be found here.   

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