‘No’ voter fires back after getting the sack
THE woman sacked by a children's party business for promoting the "no" vote in the gay marriage postal survey says she is "very hurt" about being fired.
The 18-year-old woman, who has been identified only by her first name Madeline, was let go as a contractor by the Canberra small business for posting a Facebook profile picture with a filter saying "It's OK to vote no".
Capital Kids Parties business owner Madlin Sims said she fired Madeline because "advertising your desire to vote no for SSM [same-sex marriage] is, in my eyes, hate speech".
"I am in complete shock," Madeline told Triple J's Hack yesterday.
She said the situation was made worse because she wasn't able to articulate her position to Ms Sims before she was fired.
"Most people see my views as bigoted - I did understand where she was coming from - but when I wasn't able to explain myself to her because she had blocked me I felt even more hurt," Madeline said.
"I just wanted to let her know why I was voting no and I wanted to ask her why she would discriminate against me and not have tolerance for my view.
"I think it's very unfair."
Ms Sims told Hack that she believed Madeline's views were a "risk" to her customers.
"Everyone's entitled to their opinion, we're a democracy … all good. That's not the problem. The problem for me is that we work with children," Ms Sims said.
"We work with children who might be gay and they don't know it yet, we work with children who have gay parents, who have gay uncles, a lot of our staff members are gay.
"So, Madeline, for her to post that on Facebook and connecting herself with the business, that was a big no-no. That's why I decided to no longer use her services."
Madeline disagreed that she was a "risk" to gay customers of the business or children.
"I have many gay friends and gay family and I've never felt there was any risk," she said.
"We just respect each others' views and if I'm attending a party dressed up as Minnie Mouse or something and the child I'm there for is same-sex attracted then I'm going to love that child like I would any other child."
Madeline said her views were based on her faith.
"I have been raised a Christian my whole life and, in the Bible, God clearly states that a man and a man and a woman and a woman are not to be together," she said.
"I believe that man and woman were created for each other and that when we're together it's a beautiful thing.
"I also understand that people are born gay and with same-sex attraction and that is not their fault. I think that is a beautiful thing sometimes. I have gay Christian friends and they are wonderful, wonderful people and they are wonderful ministers to other same-sex attracted Christians.
"I love everyone. I'm not a hateful person and I do believe that everyone should have equality, but to vote yes, to me, is something that I can't do. I simply cannot do it."
Madeline said she was "tempted" to take legal action for unfair dismissal but did not feel it would do any good.
"I was thinking about it, just because I wanted that recognition of tolerance for both sides, but in the end I don't think it would actually get anyone anywhere," she said.
When Ms Sims was asked whether her views were hypocritical and counter-productive to her message of equality, she said: "We've got views and then we've got sexuality and it really breaks my heart that in this day and age it seems to be a common theme that … you get into more trouble for being a hypocrite than you will for being a homophobe."