Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison’s speech to the 600 people attending the Australian Christian Lobby conference “Cultivating Courage” focused on the importance of marriage and the family, which he called “the most sacred national institution. To protect our country, to protect our society, to protect our economy and to protect our children, we must protect the family,”.
ACL managing director Lyle Shelton told the conference that it was becoming harder to be a Christian in Australia. “We face false slurs and labels, designed to demonise us into silence,” he said. “Bigot, homophobe, hater, are just some of the pejorative terms that have been used to characterise us ordinary Australians, who simply believe that marriage [should be] between a man and woman.”
In 2014, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten used his appearance at the ACL conference to make a case for marriage equality and argued that freedom of worship did not mean freedom to vilify.