NewsMon Sep 8, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Complaint Filed against Australian Christian Resort for Refusing Homosexual Youth Group
By Tim Waggoner
VICTORIA, AU, September 8, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Homosexuals in Australia are using a Christian camp’s refusal to host a pro-homosexual group as a test case to attempt to overturn legal exemptions that exist for religious groups in the Equal Opportunity Act. The Act, similar to other Western "anti-discrimination" measures, exists to "eliminate sexual and racial harassment in the workplace, educational institutions and accommodation."
Owners of the Christian Phillip Island Adventure Resort located in Victoria, Australia, are facing legal action for their decision to deny use of their facilities to the homosexual youth group, Way Out.
Way Out, which is comprised mainly of young homosexuals from rural areas, says that it wanted to host a meeting at the explicitly Christian resort in order to address "homophobia." It is "ironic" says one of the leaders of the group, "that the very first thing we experienced when we set out to book the camp was a case of blatant discrimination."
Glyn Mahon, the general manager of Christian Youth Camps, which owns the resort, said the decision to deny service to Way Out was made because the mandate of the group contradicts Christian values. "Our definition of safety, because of our Christian faith, does not support or include the promotion of homosexuality," he said, as reported by The Age.
Christian Youth Camps stated that it "desires all guests to experience Christian life and values, and it was the aims of the Way Out group in promoting a lifestyle to young people contrary to those values that was in question."
One member of Way Out says that he thinks the Christian resort’s decision to uphold their Christian values is "immoral" and feels the resort should be forced to accommodate the group’s pro-homosexual agenda.
"I was very angry when I found out about it," said homosexual student Jake Quilligan. "It was immoral."
Way Out is now attempting to force their agenda by means of legal action, filing a complaint with the Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission, and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Currently religious groups in Victoria are allowed to deny their services to organizations or activities that promote ideals that contradict their "genuine religious beliefs or principles." WayOut coordinator Sue Hackney, however, says she believes that the exemption does not apply to the camp, since it is operated as a commercial enterprise, reports The Age.
The case has come at an opportune time for homosexual groups in Australia, as the Department of Justice is currently in the process of reviewing the legal exemptions to Equal Opportunity Act that currently protect religious groups, to determine if they should be maintained or not.