ABC’s The Drum has discussed the debate over marriage equality and the consequences of disagreeing with corporate views on the topic, an issue the Australian Christian Lobby has called “bullying”.

The issue of ‘free speech’ around opposition to marriage equality arose again recently when IBM managing partner Mark Allaby stepped down from the board of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute after pressure from LGBTI activists.

The Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton referred to Allaby’s resignation as “the latest attempt to silence opposition”, adding that “the battle for marriage and freedom is far from over”.

Debate over corporate stances on same-sex marriage flared recently after the heads of a number of Australian companies signed a letter to Malcolm Turnbull calling for marriage equality.

Appearing on The Drum, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers principal Josh Bornstein said it’s acceptable for businesses to take political stands on issues such as LGBTI rights.

“I don’t think people should be sacked… because they have a different philosophical or political view,” he said.

“The activists are expressing a view and putting pressure on a company. How the company responds is another matter altogether.”

Journalist Deborah Snow said, “I have a lot of sympathy for the marriage equality movement, but I think there’s a point at which the more militant fringes might be getting into fairly counterproductive territory with these kinds of tactics.”

The Australian Christian Lobby’s coverage of the issue alleges that “same-sex activists are targeting people’s jobs and livelihood”.

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