Wednesday, 14th July, 2021
ALBANY PRIDE STATEMENT
14th July, 2021
RE: Albany Entertainment Centre and the Australian Christian Lobby
On the 13th July, 2021, it was reported in several media outlets that the Australian Christian Lobby’s desire to hire the Albany Entertainment Centre was denied by the Perth Theatre Trust for one of their lobbying events.
It should come as no surprise that ALBANY PRIDE supports the decision of the Perth Theatre Trust.
Earlier this year in May, ALBANY PRIDE were vocally opposed to the ‘Real Lives’ event which sought to promote Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Change Efforts (SOGICE) through religious intervention. The Australian Christian Lobby – unsurprisingly – were ardent supporters of the event, and continue to lobby against legislation that would outlaw the dangerous practice of Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Change Efforts, otherwise known as ‘conversion therapy’.
The Australian Christian Lobby have a long history of opposing and speaking out against any kind of advancement in LGBTQIA+ rights and freedoms, often demonising and misrepresenting LGBTQIA+ people and groups in the process, and continue to do so.
We would expect that the Perth Theatre Trust would not agree to allow a group that sought to demonise and restrict the rights and freedoms of any other demographic (such as on the basis of ethnicity, ability, age, etc.) to host an event, and as such, ALBANY PRIDE fails to see why this is any different.
Indeed, were the Perth Theatre Trust to reject an event by a group wanting to restrict the rights of Christians specifically to social institutions such as marriage, parenting and adoption, to specifically ban Christianity from being learnt about in schools, or to promote the discrimination against Christians in schools or businesses (as the Australian Christian Lobby have long campaigned for in regards to LGBTQIA+ people), ALBANY PRIDE would support that decision too.
The Australian Christian Lobby are trying to claim this is an issue of ‘religious freedom’, but ‘religious freedom’ is not a justifiable excuse for any other kind of discrimination or prejudice, and we fail to see why it should be a justifiable excuse for LGBTQIA+ discrimination and prejudice.
It is misleading of the Australian Christian Lobby to suggest that the relative inconvenience of not being able to easily express misinformation and damaging rhetoric is in any way comparable to the proven trauma and potential damage to sexual and gender diverse people from events such as this.
ALBANY PRIDE, once again, fully supports the decision of the Perth Theatre Trust and would implore them to follow through with it.
ALBANY PRIDE, 14th July, 2021.