Australia is not immune to the culture war and the social trends that have affected the rest of the West, contrary to some idiotically smug and arrogant Aussie commenters at this blog in the past; here’s another example:
In this space, I have mentioned the concerns of several Christian readers that they will face pressure in their companies to declare themselves in favor of same-sex marriage, or stand exposed as “bigots” and marginalized. This is now happening in Australia. A reader there sends this story from The Australian. Excerpts:
Some of the country’s biggest businesses have upped the ante in the crusade for marriage equality by asking Australians to wear a specially designed “acceptance ring” until same-sex marriage is legalised.
Led by accommodation provider Airbnb and supported by Qantas, ANZ, Fairfax Media and Foxtel, the Until We Belong campaign has been billed as the “most public declaration for marriage equality” so far.
The initiative calls on Australians to signal their support for same-sex couples by committing to wearing the ring, created by designer Marc Newson.
Airbnb Australia country manager Sam McDonagh said the campaign would involve the distribution of “hundreds of thousands” of the distinctive black metal rings to its hosts and guests, business partners and “key influencers”.
Qantas staff and cabin crew would wear them, he said, while Google Australia has also provided rings for its 1300 staff to wear. “Our goal is to build momentum around the issue of marriage equality and spark those conversations about acceptance,” Mr McDonagh said.
Marriage Alliance spokeswoman Sophie York, who is opposed to same-sex marriage, questioned whether people who opted not to wear their acceptance ring would be called upon to explain their decision. She pointed to the recent harassment of a PricewaterhouseCoopers executive and a Macquarie University academic by gay activists over their links with a Christian institution as a sign of what could happen when individuals failed to comply with the “same-sex marriage agenda”.
“Almost every day, Marriage Alliance hears from an employee who has come under pressure at work to participate in an activity or donate funds to support the push to redefine marriage,” Ms York said.
“Now we see big corporates giving away free jewellery to those who take the pledge, while providing an easy way to identify those who disagree with the company agenda.
“We know activists will stop at nothing — even accessories — to target people for demise.”
Qantas and Google yesterday confirmed their support for the campaign, but both said staff would not be under any obligation to wear the rings.
“We usually let our people know when we’re involved with a campaign like this, but there’s certainly no expectation that they will be part of it themselves,” a Qantas spokesman said. “They are welcome to join in, but it’s certainly not a requirement.”
No, of course not. No pressure at all. If Christians, Muslims, or others who work at these companies don’t want to wear the ring, nobody will force those hate-filled bigots to do what they don’t want to do. If they choose to advertise their bigotry by not joining in the campaign, that’s on them. It’s like back in the 1950s, during the Cold War in the US: if you didn’t want to show your patriotism by wearing a flag pin, nobody was going to make filthy communists like you do it.
“Surely you support marriage equality, don’t you? Then show your support for diversity and inclusiveness!”