Following a social media campaign led by gay activist Pauline Pantsdown, an Australian Christian Lobby Event will not be held at its advertised venue, the Airport Mercure Hotel in Sydney.
The Mercure tweeted “The ACL have advised their event will no longer be held at Mercure Sydney Airport due to safety and security concerns for guests and staff.”
SameSame, a LGBTI news site, reported “A representative from Mercure’s parent company AccorHotels Australia group, Ginni Post, was able to confirm with SameSame that the ACL booking had been cancelled.
“If this is what happens to Australians who support #marriagenow, what will it be like if the law ever did change?”
“Post cited safety and security concerns for hotel guests and staff as the reason for the cancellation, telling SameSame that they had received a number of phone calls in addition to the social media posts.
“When asked if the decision to cancel was brought about by the hotel, or the Australian Christian Lobby, Post indicated it was a joint decision, telling SameSame it had been ‘reviewed on all parts.’”
The Australian reports that “the campaign by marriage-equality advocates had forced the company to close the hotel’s Facebook page, sparked phone calls that disturbed hotel staff and escalated the problem to the company’s headquarters. ‘We’ve conducted an objective review regarding the safety and security of our hotel guests and staff,’ she said. ‘Following this review the event will no longer take place next week.’”
The meeting convenors included Sydney Anglicans, Sydney Catholics, the Marriage Alliance and the ACL.
“If this is what happens to Australians who support #marriagenow, what will it be like if the law ever did change?” Lyle Shelton, ACL managing director, tweeted this morning.
The Australian reported that the meeting was cancelled due to “threats of violence” against the hotel staff.
Shelton tweeted, “the event is not cancelled. We are reconsidering our arrangements. Freedom of speech & association is too precious,” and, “All yr, ACL staff have faced the sort of violent intimidation faced by Mercure staff. Must have freedom to say no.”
This is the second meeting of Christian conservative activists to be closed down due to threats of disruption that Eternity is aware of.
Pantsdown told his Facebook followers “Thanks to everyone who took part in shutting down this event by the dangerous, predatory abusers known as the Australian Christian Lobby.” Pantsdown asked campaigners who had changed the star rating of the hotel online to go back and re-edit it.
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