Next Tuesday the battle over speech and religion will hit the High Court in Canberra.
The dry legal documents might not describe it that way. They speak about the Constitution and the Judiciary Act and jurisdictional arguments over whether one state’s tribunal can deal with matters involving a resident of another state.
However, speech and religious belief are why this case commenced and they are at the centre of what this case is all about.
Self-described anti-free speech and homosexual activist, Gary Burns, is appealing against our win earlier this year in the New South Wales Court of Appeal. He will be supported by every single state except South Australia.
The Commonwealth is lining up on our side.
There’s a great deal at stake: after next week, it may be entirely legal for activists in one state to drag you into another because of your views on marriage and family.
I am confident that our arguments are sound and hopeful that they will succeed again. I am just as confident that if we were not prepared to fight this battle, things would be much different.
Until we stepped in, tribunals in New South Wales and Victoria had taken action against residents living interstate. Victorian grandmother, Tess Corbett, was facing the prospect of contempt charges and the possibility of jail for her views on marriage. And even though this matter is before the High Court, the Australian Capital Territory system ruled recently that it could determine complaints against people living elsewhere in Australia.
We’ve heard a great deal about the need to protect freedom of speech and religion as legal concepts in recent days. The biggest attacks on those freedoms comes from state-based anti-discrimination law.
Consequently, I am not fighting this case only to defend myself from complaints lodged in New South Wales. If we are successful we will put a limit on the weaponised use of anti-discrimination law in Australia. No longer will activists in one state be able to target those living in another state entirely. It will end the possibility that draconian laws passed in one state will be able to affect all Australians.
Your support has been immensely appreciated thus far. And it has enabled us to approach this battle from a strong position: an earlier win in the highest court in New South Wales.
However, the costs of this next phase are likely to exceed $50,000. If you can assist, please donate here. And please say a prayer or two as well. I need those too…