Telstra appears to have backed away from publicly supporting marriage equality following pressure from religious groups.
The telecommunications network provider said it has no plans to feature in the public debate over same sex marriage, saying "The Aus(tralian) people and Parliament will make a decision on marriage equality".
We place great importance on diversity and stand against discrimination in all forms. Our position on #marriageequality hasn’t changed.— Telstra News (@Telstra_news) April 12, 2016
The Aus people and Parliament will determine any changes to institution of marriage. We have no plans to drive further public debate.— Telstra News (@Telstra_news) April 12, 2016
The news sparked surprise, support, upset and ridicule from customers and observers:
Catholic Church again demonstrates its incomparable skill for making things quietly go away: https://t.co/zXoN9WEEWv— Tony Martin (@mrtonymartin) April 13, 2016
It also sums up how commercial brands cynically exploit "the trendiness" of #marriageequality to hit short-term commercial objectives.— Tony Broderick (@brod) April 12, 2016
The Australian newspaper on Wednesday revealed the Archdiocese of Sydney wrote to corporations whose logos featured on a full-page Australian Marriage Equality advertisement in May last year, implying it would withdraw its custom.
“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,” business manager Michael Digges reportedly wrote in the letter.
“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 last month vs Telstra today pic.twitter.com/X15ZGWlPqe— Casey Briggs (@CaseyBriggs) April 12, 2016
Telstra customers have experienced a tough couple of months, with the network hit by four outages since March.