Telstra Re-Enters Same Sex Marriage Debate After Backstep

18/04/2016 5:28 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Andrew Penn, chief executive officer of Telstra Corp., speaks during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Telstra, Australia's biggest phone company, reaffirmed that the company is on track to meet full-year forecast. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Telstra executives appear to have pulled a complete 360 on the marriage equality debate and have come out, again, with a public statement in support of same-sex marriage.

After distancing the company from same-sex marriage last week, Telstra CEO Andrew Penn released a statement on Monday saying the telecommunications network provider supports marriage equality.

"Last week we advised that out of respect for the individual our view had been that we would not add further to the debate on marriage equality ahead of a plebiscite or parliamentary debate," Penn said in the statement.

"It is clear that rather than Telstra stepping back we should in fact step forward and support our view for marriage equality and so that is what we will do."

In May last year the company's logo appeared with many others in a full-page Australian Marriage Equality advertisement. But on Wednesday The Australian revealed the Archdiocese of Sydney wrote to all companies whose logos appeared in the ad, implying the Catholic Church would withdraw its custom which left Telstra executives distancing the company from the marriage equality debate.

Backing away (and then backing away from backing away) from the marriage equality debate is the latest controversy the company has found itself in after a series of network outages in March.

On Monday Penn said the company's position in the debate does not discount the views held by individuals (and we're guessing potential and existing customers).

"By renewing our active position, we acknowledge that we are at equal risk of inflaming a new debate but it is the right thing to do," Penn said.

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