Victorian activists are insisting that Christians are to be barred from renting council facilities for worship services because their views on homosexuality contradict council LGBTQIA+ action plans.
Dean Hurlston the boss of Ratepayers Victoria told the Herald Sun that his local council should be “ashamed” for continuing to rent a council-owned building to an Anglican church that believed homosexuality was a sin.
The City of Stonnington reviewed its agreement with the City on a Hill church after the congregation made headlines last year when its chairman Andrew Thorburn was forced to resign as CEO of the Essendon Football Club due to church ties.
Victoria Premier Dan Andrews chastised the church for its orthodox Christian teaching on sexuality and abortion. Andrews describedthe church’s views supporting traditional marriage and the sanctity of life as “appalling” and “hateful.”
The council decided there was no reason “at this stage” to cancel the church’s weekly use of the Phoenix Park community centre in Malvern East where Sunday services are held.
“But Hurlston said the decision was hypocritical because the council had promised to promote “engagement support advocacy and partnerships for our LGBTQIA+ community”.”
“Hurlston said the church’s weekly services in a council owned building provided a test of the council’s LGBTQ policy but rather than enforce their policy they had “run for the hills”.”
In 2021 the Stonnington Council signed the Local Government Rainbow Pledge promising to fly the gay flag form an LGBTIQA+ advisory committee develop an LGBTIQA+ action plan and attend the annual LBGTIQA+ festival “Midsumma”.
He said: “Council shouldn’t spend all its time and money on these policies if they are not going through with them.”
A council spokesperson said Stonnington was committed to creating “an inclusive and healthy community” for all.
“(It) acknowledges the need to ensure ongoing development in all of its policies processes and plans.
“Based on our review to date Council has determined that under the current conditions of use no action will be taken in relation to City on a Hill’s use of Phoenix Park Community Centre at this stage.
“Council is committed to working with the community and stakeholders to develop its LGBTQIA+ Action Plan and how it will create an environment of respect and better outcomes for everyone.’’
So this commitment to create “an inclusive and healthy community” for all does not involve including the Christians and anyone who is against the LGBTIQA+ agenda.
And it does not include keeping this church operating. Instead they want to shut it down. So much for inclusivity! This is akin to ordering other faiths to close because they disagree with yours.
This is pure intolerance. According to these people tolerance is a one-way street. They can say the most heinous things about straight people but not even politely about them. It’s referred to as hypocrisy.