Telstra backs away from same-sex marriage campaign


news Telstra has retreated from any involvement in a same-sex marriage campaign, reportedly following suggestions from the Catholic Church that it would boycott companies supporting the issue.

According to The Australian, Archdiocese of Sydney business manager Michael Digges wrote to corporations whose logos were featured with their permission on a full­-page Australian Marriage Equality advertisement in May last year implying it would withdraw its custom from those companies.

The Australian quoted a letter from Diggs that stated:

“You may be aware that the Catholic archdiocese of Sydney is a significant user of goods and services from many corporations, both local and international. Undoubtedly, many of the Catholic population of Sydney would be your employees, customers, partners and suppliers. It is therefore with grave concern that I write to you about the Marriage Equality for Australians campaign.”

Telstra, which holds contracts with Catholic schools across Australia, explained in a statement yesterday that it has a “long tradition of supporting diversity and inclusion” and that its position on the issue “has not changed”.

However, following indications from the Government that if it wins the next election it will call a plebiscite on the issue, “[U]ltimately, Parliament will decide the matter”, said Telstra.

“Our people and stakeholders can contribute to this process and out of respect, it is important we allow them to voice their own views,” the firm added.

Without mentioning the same-sex campaign, Telstra concluded: “Given this we have no further plans to be active in the debate.”

Telstra’s logo had featured in two advertisements for AME last year, in May and June, and still appeared on the organisation’s website when this article was published.

Image credit: Telstra


  1. It is ALL about $$$ Social conscience, Fairness, Equality is overridden at the cost of a $$$$. We must (at any cost) maximise the shareholders value, “Show me the money!”

    Oh abuse! There is a Royal Commission into that. Note there are many forms of abuse.

    • What we are seeing is the “cult” of LGBTIQ2A+ where once you are in, you can never leave – Telstra has been caught out and many other businesses/individuals/politicians are going to get caught out too – it’s the “Hotel California” scenario….”You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave!”.If you back-track from their support….wow!….are you in for it. There’s no love or tolerance then, just plain hateful, malicious blackmail and bullying. We can now start to see the ugly underbelly of the same sex lobby movement! Persecution of all descriptions will follow over the years. Just like how a man who unfortunately got bashed at Newtown and the same sex people instantly want militant homosexuals to come out of the woodwork?….like “Bash Back” in America?…..they take the law in their own hands with out due process – how do they know that it was an attack based on homosexuality?…..sure, the media reports it as such and most likely the media is wrong (as is usually the case). Talk about politicised, emotional reactions without facts. The attack could have been for a thousand other reasons and it just happened that the recipient is a homosexual. I have already seen malicious attacks occurring as a result of false media reporting and so I know first-hand what the gay activists can do.

      Btw, the more you create a “special” activity to help a “different group” of people, the more different they become because they have to have “special” help – it is circular reasoning and works against itself. It creates “perpetual victim-hood”. For example, when I was a child, I remember a group of children leaving out another child from their group (as children do from time-to-time) and so an adult stepped in to help out by telling/suggesting that the group include the other child. This just made the other child look more different from the rest because an adult had to step in to help him (when no adults had to step in for any of the other children), and so the child felt more left out and the the child himself got upset with the adult for exacerbating his situation. The adult thought they were doing something helpful, but just made the problem worse for the child. If the adult had just made a generalisation to ALL the children that they need to be inclusive without identifying any one child or drawing attention to any specific issue, then the group of children would apply the teaching to their circumstances by including the other child…..and the other child wouldn’t feel different from the rest (thereby maintaining his self-respect and normality). So in the case of the “Safe Schools” program, the more that the LGBTIQAPX people get “special” attention, the more different they look. In stead of being a genuine anti-bullying program that teaches anti-bullying across ALL issues, it focuses on one group thereby exacerbating their plight. Talk about a massive back-fire….and it’s not just with “safe Schools”, they look more different and unnatural the more that the same sex lobby group tries to “help” them. There are also gay-only groups that teach people how to have gay relationships, gay sex, etc….so much for homosexuality being “normal/natural” if you have to be taught it….and it is discrimination to make the group a gay-only group (oh….that’s right…..discrimination and abuse only works one way, the heterosexuals have to cop it).

  2. In other news, Telstra has launched a new campaign in support of the Catholic Church covering up child abuse.

  3. I think too much is being read into the adjustment of Telstra’s position here.

    Like many businesses Telstra sees the value in treating staff well. Marriage equality by statute removes a lot of internal procedural anguish and helps simplify a lot of things. For a business the size of Telstra there is a lot of cost involved in Staff Management. I’m sure their sponsorship was genuine.

    However, they are also smart enough to judge that when the debate becomes a little more entrenched then it is time that they can’t help by saying any more.

    Strategically Telstra have more to gain from being on the right side of history. I’m sure that they know that. This is just about the struggles of the Roman Catholic Church who will surely come around as well just on a different timescale. Remember Galileo?

    • Strategically they screwed themselves.

      I have a second mobile that I was considering migrating to Telstra when the contract ends in a few months I will not be doing this now. I will also look to move my current plans from Telstra to Optus as soon as it is financially responsible to do so.

  4. I’m no fan of Telstra at the best of times but I don’t think you can be to hard on them here. Let’s be honest, the church has threatened to influence a bunch of folks to boycott Telstra, the same bunch of folks that the church has managed to make them believe in an unseen deity and that their priests weren’t involved in child abuse. This is not an idle threat and, like the churches history in the sexual abuse scandal, we shouldn’t blame the victim.

    Let’s focus on the threat, not the threatened.

    • You’re right, but Telstra didn’t need to bow to said pressure either.

      We aren’t blaming a woman for being assaulted here, we are talking about a company that is still legitimately thinking about its own profits first.

      Sure, the Church are the bullies in this, but Telstra isn’t a little defenseless child in all this, they are an incredibly large and profitable corporation, they don’t need us sticking up for them. The people that do need sticking up for, are the ones that Telstra is seemingly backing away from, because of threats by the Catholic Church.

      • Telstra have played their part there is no need for them to get in a scrap.

        We will have marriage equality and so will the Roman Catholic Church about 100 years later.

        There is no turning back now.

      • Agree with you R but in a election year? No way. That’d force the libs to choose between donations and the core constituents of the rabble RWNJ’s.

        Bullet dodged.

        • I’m not really sure I follow the train of thought? How would Telstra not backing down from the church affect the either political party?

          • It would give the Christian Lobby a platform to publically fight the plebiscite in the lead up to the election. The Libs would have to pick a side, Christians or big business, Telstra just happens to be 1st cab off the rank in this case. Given all the RWNJ’s in the libs, it’s an argument best avoided for Telstra, who are very likely to benefit from the libs staying in power and a split between big business and the Christian base would drive a lot of election media hype.

          • I’m not really sure that the Christian Lobby still wont fight the plebiscite anyway though….

            They don’t really need a platform to do it from.

  5. It’s good to know the hierarchy. Telstra often gets referred to as the 100lb Gorilla when it comes to Australia’s telecommunications sector. It looks as if the Catholic Church is big enough to change the tune to which the Gorilla dances. I doubt the tune is being played by Bruce Springsteen though. Can smaller Telco’s start lobbying the Catholic Church for support? They’ve as much as stated they’re willing to switch over same-sex marriage, maybe they’d be willing to switch for a 20%* reduction in their annual communications costs? They do love money.

    Also interesting is that Telstra isn’t confident enough in their own product to think that it’s an empty threat. I would have thought Telstra’s history would have dictated a strong response such as “If you think you were uncomfortable with our support of same-sex marriage, just wait until you try a non-Telstra network. It’ll shake your faith.”

    * 20% being a conservative estimate of the potential savings.

  6. What the Catholic Church just did was blackmail Telstra. Blackmail is illegal and carries criminal penalties. Telstra should have referred that the the ALP. Now that it has been made public, the AFP should be investigating it. Are they?

  7. I wonder which mining mogul is thinking of sending a letter to Telstra about it’s climate change stance now?

    Thin edge of the wedge, Telstra…

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