Five years ago to the day, the Coalition for Marriage was warning Australians voting in the same-sex marriage plebiscite that freedom and the truth about gender were at stake.

The same-sex marriage lobby denied this and said C4M was spreading “furphies”.

Yesterday a Christian was sacked as CEO of the Essendon Australian Football club because of his Christian faith.

“It became clear to me that my personal Christian faith is not tolerated or permitted in the public square, at least by some and perhaps by many,” Thorburn said in a statement issues last night.

It followed Victorian Premier Dan Andrews labelling orthodox Christian (and Muslim) views on marriage and the human rights of unborn babies as “bigotry”.

Thorburn was sacked after it emerged that the church of which he is chairman of the board, City on a Hill, holds these views.

Media reports say a 2013 sermon that remained online yesterday likened abortion to concentration camps and said that human sexual relations should only be expressed within heterosexual marriage.

Abortion is of course a terrible blight on our society, killing tens of thousands of babies every year and harming untold numbers of women who are often coerced by men, as we saw in the Hawthorn scandal last week.

City on the Hill’s view on marriage and sex is consistent with orthodox Christianity’s teachings over 2000 years and remains the view of almost all other cultures are religions, including that of Australia’s sizeable Muslim population.

But it is now clear that if you want a job and you hold these views, you should be very quiet or quietly see yourself out.

The Thorburn pile-on is just the latest by militant and intolerant LGBTIQA+ activists.

It’s not good enough to be tolerant of their view of sexuality and gender, we must all celebrate it or lose our jobs and our place in polite society.

Just ask our greatest tennis player Margaret Court or one of our greatest rugby players Israel Folau.

It took less than 30 hours to cancel Thorburn.

A bi-sexual Port Philip City Councillor, Deputy Mayor Tim Baxter, said Thorburn’s appointment as CEO was like “spitting in the face of every queer Essendon member’’.

He tweeted that he was cancelling his and his children’s Essendon membership.

“I don’t think the belief that women shouldn’t be able to access reproductive health care or that queer people should go back in the closest are compatible with leadership,’’ he said.

‘‘I won’t be a member of an organisation that makes those kind of decisions.’’

Thorburn went on radio and said he didn’t agree with everything his church said although didn’t say which bits.

He reiterated this in his statement last night but it was clear he was choosing not to compromise. Good on him.

Here is his statement in full:

Statement from Andrew Thorburn

Yesterday was one of the proudest days of my life. To be offered the role of CEO of the

Essendon Football Club - who I have followed since I was a boy - was a profound honour. At

last night’s Crichton medal, I could hardly contain my passion and wonder at the opportunity.

I love the club, love the people, and was incredibly excited about the work ahead. I had seen

a picture of a club that was not as broken as feared, and that with leadership and focus,

could rebound strongly.

However, today it became clear to me that my personal Christian faith is not tolerated or

permitted in the public square, at least by some and perhaps by many. I was being required

to compromise beyond a level that my conscience allowed. People should be able to hold

different views on complex personal and moral matters, and be able to live and work

together, even with those differences, and always with respect. Behaviour is the key. This is

all an important part of a tolerant and diverse society.

Let me be clear - I love all people, and have always promoted and lived an inclusive, diverse,

respectful and supportive workplace - where people are welcomed regardless of their

culture, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. I believe my record over a long period of

time testifies to this.

Despite my own leadership record, within hours of my appointment being announced, the

media and leaders of our community had spoken. They made it clear that my Christian faith

and my association with a Church are unacceptable in our culture if you wish to hold a

leadership position in society.

This grieves me greatly - though not just for myself, but for our society overall. I believe we

are poorer for the loss of our great freedoms of thought, conscience and belief that made for a truly diverse, just and respectful community.

My faith is central to who I am. Since coming to faith in Jesus 20 years ago, I have seen

profound change in my life, and I believe God has made me a better husband, father, and

friend. It has also helped me become a better leader. That is because at the centre of my

faith is the belief that you should create a community and care for people, because they are

created by and loved by God and have a deep intrinsic value.

As it happens, I do sometimes disagree with things I hear in church - but I believe strongly in

the right of people to say them, especially when taken in context. Reducing complex matters

to a sentence is dangerous. Australia has a long tradition of diversity and religious freedom,

and that must include preserving space for religious people to be able to express their

religious beliefs.

I am saddened by these events. I wish the Club success, and thank Dave Barham in

particular for the opportunity he gave me. I hope the external review leads to great change. I

am truly sorry that I will not be able to work with the whole Essendon team, and Brad Scott

and Josh Mahoney in particular.

4 October, 2022

The ball is now in Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s court. He has promised to protect religious freedom after Scott Morrison failed.

However, Labor and Liberal have shown that when it comes to culture issues, they side with those who are intolerant to the Christian and Muslim view on marriage and human sexual flourishing.

Since winning same-sex marriage in 2017, the militant rainbow lobby is determined to cement its gains by ensuring the law allows no tolerance to religious views.

(Although, believing that marriage is between one man and one woman is not exclusive to religious people.)

Family First has been re-birthed to raise parliamentarians who will fight for Australia to remain a free and tolerant society.

Action: Join the political movement that will fight for your freedom. Sign up today.