Telstra has reportedly withdrawn its public support for marriage equality, in a move that’s been blasted as “shameful” and “cowardly”.
The Australian newspaper yesterday reported that Telstra was quietly retreating from their public support for marriage equality after threats of a boycott from the Sydney Catholic Church, with whom the telco reportedly has IT contracts.
Telstra’s logo was displayed among those of other companies in two 2015 Australian Marriage Equality ads, and their logo can still be found on AME’s website.
PFLAG spokesperson Shelley Argent was among those slamming the telco’s decision on social media, writing in a letter to Telstra CEO Andy Penn (pictured) that she was disappointed the company had “succumbed to bullying by the Catholic Church”.
“Your LGBT employees must feel abandoned and not worthy in one of Australia’s largest and high profile companies,” she wrote in the letter posted to Facebook.
“Your web page states that you will stand against homophobia! Short term profit over what is morally right is nothing to be proud of.
“Shame on you, your Board and those who condoned this cowardly decision.”
The telco responded to the backlash in a statement: “Telstra has a long tradition of supporting diversity and inclusion. Our position on the issue has not changed. We place great importance on diversity and standing against all forms of discrimination.
“We also recognise this diversity means our employees, customers and shareholders will have a range of personal views on this topic.
“Our people and stakeholders can contribute to [the marriage equality plebiscite] process and out of respect, it is important we allow them to voice their own views.
“Given this we have no further plans to be active in the debate.”