An anti-gay marriage activist in Australia has claimed that workers will be “pressured” into wearing rings supporting same-sex marriage.
The claim comes after Airbnb became the latest company to call for same-sex marriage in Australia, despite continued resistance from the right-wing government.
Airbnb also teamed up with a non-profit to launch a symbolic equality ring.
The ring is incomplete, symbolising the ‘missing’ same-sex marriages that continue to be banned in the country.
But the charity ring has not gone down well with activists from the anti-gay Marriage Alliance, who claims workers will be forced to wear the rings.
Marriage Alliance activist Sophie York denounced Airbnb’s actions while appearing on ABC News 24.
She claimed: “I think that people will feel quite pressured, especially if their CEO was a signatory on a letter to the Prime Minister, or if their bosses have bought or provided the rings, or there’s been a flyer go out saying ‘these rings are available’, and also if a number of people are wearing them.
“It may even be a health and safety issue because the ring could catch on things. There are many considerations to this.
“We’re talking about the impact of the worker… are they going to feel uncomfortable, being uncomfortable at work, and having someone say ‘where’s your ring? why aren’t you wearing your ring?’
“People shouldn’t feel that way in the workplace. They should be free to have their own privacy and their own opinion on all manner of different things.”
One of the main public opponents of equal marriage in Australia, government Senator Eric Abetz, claimed earlier this week that gay people can be ‘cured’.
During a TV interview he insisted: “The reality is, and evidence has been given to the Senate Committees, where people who have been in gay relationships have then gone into heterosexual relationships and I believe that can happen, courtesy of the evidence.
Asked by the stunned host if gay people should ‘try’ to be straight, he said: “Look, it is up to the individual as to what they want to be and how they want to express themselves. That is up to them in a free society.”
“I think we all know people that have been in a straight relationship that have gone into a gay relationship, and people doing the opposite.
“The fact that both occur within our society is established fact and why we can’t report on the two-way traffic is something that has bemused me somewhat and I think it’s indicative of certain bias in the media that they only want one side of the equation spoken about.”
Abetz, the former Leader of the Government in the Senate and a member of Malcolm Turnbull’s right-wing coalition, has previously claimed that people who are ‘cured’ of homosexuality should be celebrated in public.
The politician also previously suggested that even if the public votes for equal marriage in a referendum or plebiscite, he would try to block it in Parliament.