Church Sidelines Pro-Gay Corporation
One letter from Church official stops corporate sponsorship of “gay marriage”
[Would that AmChurch officials do the same]
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., MA.Th. • ChurchMilitant • April 13, 2016
SYDNEY – Multibillion dollar telecommunication corporation Telstra is ceasing the promotion of so-called same-sex marriage after receiving a letter from the archdiocese of Sydney.
Last May, the archdiocesan business manager, Michael Digges, sent a letter to Telstra, which had signed the Australian Marriage Equality petition favoring gay marriage. The international corporation was one of 800 companies to do so in 2015.
In the letter to Telstra, which has the Telco contracts for Catholic schools across the country, Diggs wrote,
You are publicly supporting a strategic, political and well-funded campaign designed to pressure the federal government into changing the Marriage Act. … For corporations to speak on such issues on behalf of shareholders, employees, clients/customers, suppliers and other stakeholders is indeed overstepping their purpose and is to be strongly resisted.
In not-so-veiled terms, Mr. Diggs continued,
You may be aware that the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney is a significant user of goods and services from many corporations, both local and international. Undoubtedly, many of the Catholic population of Sydney would be your employees, customers, partners and suppliers. It is therefore with grave concern that I write to you about the Marriage Equality for Australians campaign.
Although not explicitly stated, Mr. Diggs strongly implied that the archdiocese of Sydney would withdraw all its contracts from Telstra if it did not cease to publicly support so-called marriage equality.
Tuesday, a Telstra spokesman acknowledged the corporation would be bowing out of the campaign for same-sex marriage. “Telstra has no further plans to figure prominently in the wider public debate.”
The same day on Twitter the company commented that it had “no plans to drive further public debate” on the issue. The spokesman verified they would be leaving the matter of marriage equality to Australian people and parliament.
A source familiar with the company’s decision to retreat from the issue admitted that Telstra “did not want to risk its commercial relationship with the Church.”