A Canberra woman has been fired from her job after sharing her anti-marriage equality views on social media.
According to the woman’s former employer, Madlin Sims, “advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech.”
Sims, who runs a children’s entertainment company in Canberra, says the woman had been hired on a contractual basis, had been working for the company for around a month before she added an ‘it’s okay to say no’ decal to her Facebook profile photo.
Given that her business caters to children – many of whom are children of same-sex couples – and that the woman included images of herself attending events on behalf of the company, Sims said she had no choice but to fire her.
“1. It’s bad for business; 2. I don’t like sh*t morals; 3. I don’t want homophobes working for me, especially in an environment with children,” Sims wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday explaining her decision to let the contractor go.
“Advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech,” Sims says.
“Voting no is homophobic. Advertising your homophobia is hate speech. As a business owner, I can’t have somebody who publicly represents my business posting hate speech online.”
She continued, “It’s not okay to vote no. It’s not okay to be homophobic. This isn’t a matter of opinion or even religion. It’s a matter of the love & livelihood of real human beings. Freedom of speech is there for a reason and so are consequences.”
However, in an interview with Triple J’s Hack, the 18-year-old contractor – known only by her first name Madeleine – has said she is in “shock” about the sacking.
“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.
“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.”
Madeline explained to the program her stance is born from being raised a Christian her “whole life”.
“I love everyone, I’m not a hateful person at all,” Madeline said.
“I wish that everyone could have equality – I do believe everyone should have equality but to vote yes, to me, is something I can’t do. I cannot do it.”
Listen: Mamamia Out Loud has a message for Prime Minister Turnbull.