AUS: Activists seek ban on Christians renting council facilities over views on lgbt

A taxpayers advocacy group has said that Christains should not be allowed to rent council owned properties for worship services because of their views on lgbt issues. 

It was reported that Ratepayers Victoria head Dean Hurlston said the local council should be “ashamed” over continuing to rent out a building to an Anglican church which preaches that homosexuality is a sin. 

The decision to continue renting to the City on a Hill church came after the city of Stonnington made a review of the tenancy after the chairman of the church, Andrew Thorburn, was forced to resign as CEO of the Essendon Football Club because of his association to the religious congregation. 

Stonnington Council says the area is “understood to have one of the largest LGBTIQA+ communities in Victoria”. 

The council decided that there was not sufficient reason to cancel the tenancy “at this stage”, saying it was “committed to working with the community and stakeholders to develop its LGBTQ+ Action Plan and how it will create an environment of respect and better outcomes for everyone.’

Hurlston claimed that the decision was an act of hypocrisy saying that the council had vowed to promote “engagement, support, advocacy and partnerships for our LGBTQIA+ community”. 

Activists also argued that ‘Council shouldn’t spend all its time and money on these (LGBTQ+) policies if they are not going through with them,’.

In February 2021 the Stonnington City council ​​”unanimously voted to implement four of the five pledges we put forward as part of our Rainbow Local Government campaign.”

This included a “Notice of Motion to establish a LGBTIQA+ Advisory Committee and develop a LGBTIQA+ Action Plan for the period from 2021-2025.”

According to official sources, the action plan is intended to “ identify opportunities for Council to work in partnership with local services and groups to increase inclusion, address service gaps and identify opportunities for LGBTIQA+ people and their families to be involved in local community life.”, a model which is replicated across various councils internationally. 


Last October Victoria Premier, Daniel Andrews, slammed the appointment of Thornburn as CEO of the football club citing his views on abortion and same-sex relationships, saying,  

“Those views are absolutely appalling, I don’t support those views. That kind of intolerance and hatred is just wrong.” 

Ratepayers, in its constitution document, says its aims are to “work for equity for ratepayers and residents”, to “work for improved democratic process and participation in local government”. 


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