The Western Australia government has rescinded a policy that denied the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) the right to book government-run arenas in the state.
“In short,” said ACL Managing Director Martyn Iles, “we’re going to the Albany Entertainment Centre and whatever other government properties we choose.” Iles thanked supporters for calling, emailing and acting in support of the ACL’s right to book the public venues.
“We’re grateful that God has kept this door open for us to take The Truth of It Live to public places in WA,” Iles continued. “A statement out today by [Minister for Culture and the Arts David] Templeman is very unkind to ACL and keeps the door open for the new policy to have major problems, but I guess we can’t make everyone like us. We can, however, ensure that taxpayer-funded, government-owned facilities are not permanently closed to Christians.”
The ACL has been holding events called The Truth of It Live, a live version of the group’s popular podcast hosted by Iles. ACL recently drew large crowds at events in the northeastern state of Queensland, including Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and Cairns.
But they ran into roadblocks in Western Australia.
In a July 12 Facebook post, Iles wrote: “So, apparently the WA government won’t allow venues to host people who disagree with them. Welcome to China.
“We asked for a copy of the policy on which they relied to make the decision. They said it was an ‘internal working document.’
“When pressed, the Minister’s office sent us a copy of a short ‘policy’ which consisted mostly of anti-ACL talking points … the tracking information showed it was last edited on the very day it was sent to us. I wonder why.”
Iles noted that Section 62 of Western Australia’s Equal Opportunity Act 1984 forbids venues from discriminating on the ground of religious or political conviction.
Over the past few years, Christian events have been on the receiving end of cancel culture in other countries as well, but at least two recent cases in the United Kingdom have been decided in favor of the Christian groups.
In April, a judge found that the Blackpool Borough Council and its public transportation company violated the U.K.’s Equality Act 2010 when they removed bus ads for Franklin Graham’s Lancashire Festival of Hope. And in June, the Edinburgh Council in Scotland apologized and agreed to pay £25,000 (about $35,000) in damages to Destiny Ministries after unlawfully canceling their event booking over the event speaker’s Biblical views on marriage and sexuality.
Above: The Albany Entertainment Centre
Photo: Jason Knott/Alamy Stock Photo