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The last time we heard from Australian Christian Lobby head Lyle Shelton, he was explaining how marriage equality was a horrible idea because people might think he’s gay. And we can’t have that now, can we?


Looks like the King of Bad Arguments is back with a new entry.

In short, if marriage equality were to be legalized in Australia, Shelton says the Parliament must make sure everyone’s religious freedoms are protected so that people who think same-sex marriage is a sin aren’t required to participate in a gay wedding ceremony.

That’s not necessarily a problem — but look at how he actually phrased it:

“While we welcome [Attorney General George] Brandis’ recognition that protection is needed for religious wedding celebrants, freedom of conscience rights must also be extended to people of faith or no faith who supply services to the wedding industry,” Mr Shelton said.

“In the United States and Europe bakers, florists, photographers and wedding chapel owners have all fallen foul of the law, and in some cases have incurred big fines, for exercising their conscientiously held views about the truth of marriage.

“Clergy are not the only ones with freedom of conscience rights.”

So Shelton is trying to prolong the adoption of marriage equality… in order to protect the rights of atheists who want to discriminate against gay people.

As if it’s the non-religious bakers who always refuse to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples…

‘I am not aware of atheist wedding service providers who currently have a problem with same-sex commitment or civil union ceremonies,’ [Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney] Croome said.

This is a non-issue. Just as in the U.S., Australian ministers will not be forced to conduct same-sex marriages in their churches if they don’t want to. And atheists have no reason to discriminate against others on the basis of their sexual orientation, so we don’t need laws that protect our right to discriminate against others.

The only people fighting to legalize bigotry are Christians who oppose basic civil rights.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.