In a blog post titled ‘LGBTIQ Bullying Must Stop’, the Australian Christian Lobby has called for LGBT+ Australians to stop bullying those who disagree with their views on same-sex marriage and Safe Schools.
The socially conservative organisation says protesters at a recent event in Melbourne prevented access for attendees using “physical force and intimidation”.
“The intolerance of those leading the LGBTI political movement is fast-becoming one of the biggest threats to basic freedoms Australians have taken for granted for 200 years,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton wrote.
“Quite frankly, we are tired of the threats and intimidation. By all means protest and engage our arguments in a civil manner. But the bullying must stop.”
Conservatives have complained that they are branded with titles like ‘bigot’ and ‘homophobe’ for advocating traditional views, accusing LGBT+ supporters of throwing slurs and trying to shut down debate.
The call to stop ‘LGBT+ bullying’ came in a week where openly gay Qantas CEO Alan Joyce had a lemon meringue pie pushed into his face in a protest against the company’s support for marriage equality.
LGBT+ bullying has been a high-profile issue in recent years, with the LGBT+ anti-bullying program Safe Schools attracting strong criticism from conservatives.
The Australian Christian Lobby says it is concerned that marriage equality and programs like Safe Schools are attempts at social engineering which encourage children to question their gender.
LGBT+ groups and other supporters say the program is necessary.
Mental Health organisation Beyond Blue says LGBT+ youth are at higher risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide than their heterosexual peers – a result of prejudice, bullying and discrimination.
The LGBT+ Health Alliance says LGBTI young people are up to five times more likely to attempt suicide.