Senator Cory Bernardi is scheduled to speak to a No campaign rally in Hobart, which has twice been denied a venue.
The Australian Conservatives founder and leader told the Hobart Mercury newspaper overnight that serious questions need to be asked of Wrest Point Casino after a pre-planned Coalition for Marriage rally was told it can no longer go ahead at the venue. The Coalition for Marriage has been forced to find a new venue for tomorrow night’s rally after Federal Hotels told the anti same-sex marriage organisation Wrest Point was not available.
“I know very little about why,” Senator Bernardi said. “But I think there are legitimate questions to be asked why a venue that has been booked and paid for has suddenly become unavailable with no reason given about why. If nothing else, it is a terrible business practice.”
The Australian newspaper reports this morning that the Coalition for Marriage subsequently sought out the University of Tasmania, which also refused the campaign the right to speak on the campus.
Australian Conservatives has noted this, in effect, amounts to 'No Platforming' one side of a debate, a tactic used by opponents of free speech in the United States. The venues' attitude - particularly a casino which took a booking and deposit before cancelling the venue - gives real cause to wonder how supporters of traditional marriage will be treated if the "Yes" campaign succeeds.
Media reports this morning indicate the Coalition for Marriage has now found a venue in Hobart to stage the event.