Asia-Pacific

'I'm not a homophobe': Woman fired for opposing same-sex marriage defends her stance

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The woman at the centre of a same-sex marriage furore has spoken out after she was fired from her job as a children's party entertainer in Canberra when she declared her opposition to same-sex marriage on Facebook.

A woman who was fired from her job as a children's party entertainer after she voiced her opposition to same-sex marriage online has spoken out.

Madeline, who only wanted to be known by her first name over fears of retribution, refuted her former employer's claim she was a "homophobe".

"I am the oldest of eight kids, I have helped in Sunday schools and church camps and kids camps," she told Sky News.

"I’m a nanny at the moment, I’ve always worked with children, children are just what I know.

"To be called a homophobe and to say I’m a risk for the children I work with and the families of the children that I work with, I highly disagree."

Madeline's former employer, children's party planner Madlin Sims, revealed she sacked her after she publicly declared her support on Facebook.

The nanny used a filter on her Facebook profile photo that read: "It's OK to vote no."

Madeline same-sex marriage Bolt Report
The nanny appeared on The Bolt Report on Sky News to defend her stance.
Sky News

"Advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech," Ms Sims wrote on Facebook.

"Voting no is homophobic. Advertising your homophobia is hate speech. As a business owner I can't have somebody who publicly represents my business posting hate speech online."

Madeline, who is now employed as a nanny, said people were entitled to their opinions.

"This is a democracy and we were given the options and asked as Australians to vote yes or no," she said.

"It is my opinion to vote 'no' and I don’t think that my job should be taken away from me just because I have opinion that someone disagrees with. I don’t think I should have been fired.

"I was told by my [current] boss today, you are entitled to your own opinion. I’m very glad I have this support at this job now."

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Brother of party planner who fired contractor after revealing 'no' same-sex marriage vote
Brother of party planner who fired contractor after revealing 'no' same-sex marriage vote

Since the story made national headlines, Ms Sims' brother, Aaron, has revealed how his sister is being harassed for her beliefs.

"It went viral across Australia then as a result we received personal threats on personal numbers they [people who don't believe in same-sex marriage] found our home phone numbers and were harassing us," he told SBS World News.

"There was countless things they said about my sister and her child. It was very, very uncomfortable to be a part of.

"We had shut off all aspects of our business until this cooled down a bit. But it still wouldn’t stop, they still found ways and contact us to tell us how despicable we were because of things that allegedly happened.

"Given the fact they made some of our staff members who are gay uncomfortable we just had to really realistically not contract her any further."

In Sydney, the Chinese community has been the target of all sides of the campaign through pamphlets written in Mandarin.

A few weeks ago, Chinese Australians were being encouraged to vote "no" but Asian Australian Alliance's Erin Chew supports the 'yes' campaign.

"As a Chinese community we should understand what racial discrimination and being racially vilified actually means, so why is it that we want to do this onto other minority groups," he said.

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