Australian Christian Lobby furious after venues reject their bookings

australian christian lobby venues western australia
Images: YouTube

The Australian Christian Lobby has threatened to sue after they were barred from holding a Western Australian event at a publicly-owned Albany venue.

The Perth Theatre Trust, a government agency, operates several publicly-owned theatre venues across the state.

Last month, the Trust reportedly barred the ACL from hiring the Albany Entertainment Centre or the Perth Concert Hall for the Christian political lobby group’s The Truth of It LIVE event.

The live stage show is hosted by managing director Martyn Iles (pictured left). The ACL are touring the show around the country.

The group states that attendees will hear Iles “apply Biblical truth to the current issues of the day.”

“Peter Abetz will also speak on local political issues,” the ACL says in the description.

It’s understood the Trust’s policy allows them to reject hire requests from political parties for electioneering or organisations with “politically-motivated objectives”.

Australian Christian Lobby planning legal action

The ACL’s WA director Peter Abetz (pictured centre) said the group are outraged by the ban.

He said the ACL are planning to take the matter to the Equal Opportunity Commission.

“We were informed that due to the nature of the events politically motivated objectives we can not accept your booking,” he told radio station 6PR.

“They’re saying we can’t have him there because of his political religious beliefs.

“This is a venue which is refusing to provide a service because of his views. That’s in breach of section 62 of the Equal Opportunity Act.

“In a democratic society I think this is really just totally inappropriate for government to put in policy.

“Basically trying to prevent people from accessing venues that don’t share every aspect of their views.

“Any group should be able to book a venue as long as they pay the normal fee.”

WA Arts and Culture Minister David Templeman is responsible for the Perth Theatre Trust.

Templeman said in a statement the Trust had made the decision without his involvement.

“The PTT leases venues in accordance with the conditions of its venue hire policy,” he said.

“The Perth Theatre Trust has made the decision to deny a booking request in line with its venue hire policy.

“This decision was made independent of the Minister, as is appropriate.”

Albany Pride support ban due to ACL’s prejudice

Local LGBTIQ organisation Albany Pride was one of several groups to weigh in on the ACL’s rejection.

They argued the ACL has a “long history of opposing any kind of advancement of LGBTQIA+ rights and freedoms,” including in their area.

“[They] often demonise and misrepresent LGBTQIA+ people and groups in the process, and continue to do so,” the group said.

Albany Pride argued a similar ban would also be appropriate to stop any group seeking a venue to promote discrimination against Christians.

For example, a group trying to ban Christians from civil marriage or adoption, banning Christianity from schools or promoting discrimination against Christians at work.

“The Australian Christian Lobby have long campaigned [in these areas] with regards to LGBTQIA+ people,” they wrote.

“‘Religious freedom’ is not a justifiable excuse for any other kind of discrimination or prejudice.

“We expect the Perth Theatre Trust would not agree to allow a group that sought to demonise and restrict the rights and freedoms of any other demographic (such as on the basis of ethnicity, ability, age, etc) to host an event.

“[We] fail to see why this is any different.

“Albany Pride fully supports the decision of the Perth Theatre Trust. We would implore them to follow through with it.”

WA pastor Margaret Court is also furious. She has called for Western Australians to “stand up” to state Premier Mark McGowan.

Court claimed Martyn Iles was “unable to hire the [venues] because his views do not line up with the present WA government.”

“I want to call on all Australians to action. Call and write to Premier McGowan or your local MPs and say, ‘This is not right,’” she said.

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  1. Peter Turner
    15 July 2021

    Can’t Margaret court take the hint and disappear into the night. She might also like to explain how she was granted an exemption to travel to the Wimbledon tennis tournament when Ash Barty’s parents were not. She was a great tennis player but a very poor excuse for a human being.

    • Julian
      17 August 2021

      She should get a medical doctor to help her over come her Hate Prejudice and Bigotry.
      How unChristian can Christian’s be !

  2. Yani
    16 July 2021

    Albany Entertainment Centre and the Perth Concert Hall were concerned they wouldn’t be able to hire enough UV sterilizers to kill off the vampire genes that would be contaminating the sites after such an event.

  3. Kevin V Russell
    16 July 2021

    Why do the religious crave privilege while unable to extend basic humanity to others?

  4. Robert Gough
    16 July 2021

    It would have been interesting to hear what this crazy had to say about the applicability of Bible sayings to current world problems. If they are unable to get Bible prophecy right in relation to the messiah, what hope have they got In interpreting current events. Court and her cronies in the ACL try to use fear to prey on the vulnerablies and savings of older people. She and they are no different to the American televangelist.

  5. Kangaroo Jack
    16 July 2021

    @Peter Turner- well said that man.

    • Max
      19 July 2021

      It always fascinates me that those, ie Christians, believe they are so right every time in justifying their rights when denigrating those of others. Christians are quite commonly the most unchristian people I know and yet they are so outraged when they ate denied something in contrast to how outraged they are that anyone other than themselves attempt to access those same rights.
      If the rules are, “No group delivering a political speech” or whatever are allowed to book those halls then the same applies to EVERYONE, not just the select few, EVERYONE and that includes Christians.
      So, at the end of the day PTT and the other venue are being inclusive, unlike the Christian groups and lobby who are quite divisive when wanting their thoughts, opinions and rights observed.

  6. Julian
    17 August 2021

    In 1933 a good Catholic Adolf Hitler came to power.
    Next thing we will see is the rise of another monster becouse of the new BLASPHEMY LAWS has police start arresting people again for asking questions.
    It’s no longer Safe to live in Australia because of the ACL.
    How history repeats itself

  7. joanna
    15 August 2022

    is a long time
    to get it wrong

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