Canberra boss receives hate after firing contractor voting ‘No’ in same-sex marriage

By @chelean on
Canberra business owner Madlin Sims on Instagram
Canberra business owner Madlin Sims on Instagram Instagram/madlinsims

A Canberra business owner is facing backlash on social media after posting that she sacked a contractor for advertising her “Vote No” on Facebook. Madlin Sims, who runs the Capital Kids Parties in ACT, said on Monday that voting no on same-sex marriage postal survey is homophobic.

The contractor had posted a photo on Facebook that “it’s OK to vote no,” which is the campaign slogan of anti-marriage equality advocates. Sims said advertising for the No vote is “in my eyes, hate speech,” and therefore voting no in the gay marriage postal survey is homophobic.

She explained on Facebook that not only did she not want “homophobes” working for her company, she also thought it was bad for business. She clarified, though, that it wasn’t a “you’re voting no, you’re fired” situation.

Sims received negative responses on her post, with people calling her a “bigot” among other things. Some even hoped she would get sued for unfair dismissal and her business would suffer for firing the contractor.

In a lengthy post on her Instagram account, Sim explained that she fired the contractor not because she did not agreed with her views, but because “This. Woman. Was. A. Risk.”

She said her brother, who is the contractor’s friend and who also works for the business, informed her that publicising her anti-marriage equality stance could be hurtful to their common friends who are gay. The contractor’s response was apparently to verbally attack her brother and refuse to take down her post. She further explained why she would not get sued with unfair dismissal, as her commenters have been wishing for her.

“This contractor being let go (which by the way I am completely within my legal rights to do because there was no agreement whatsoever between us. She provided a service, sent an invoice and we paid it) was not because I oppose her views on marriage equality. She was let go because her actions showed she is extremely out & proud about her views on homosexuals and as someone who, as I said before, has an [sic] responsibility to the vulnerable people we work with, could not risk her voicing those opinions to any children of ours,” she wrote.

She also gave another instance on which the contractor left comments on another article that explained why the contractor thought “Australia was built on white Christianity and we need to respect those views.” Sims wrote, “Not only did I realise I had a homophobe but also a racist on my hands.”

Sims’ actions made her a target of vitriolic messages. She said she had been called names and even her 2-year-old son received vile comments.

Although she received praises for standing by her strong views on marriage equality and her detailed explanation for sacking the contractor, Sims still got quite a number of negative replies. As they thought, she handled the situation badly. Some still wanted her to get sued for discrimination, while others claimed that they were going to vote for Yes originally, but Sims inadvertently changed their mind.

Meanwhile, in another news on same-sex marriage, a Presbyterian church in Victoria has cancelled a couple’s wedding after the bride posted on Facebook she would be voting Yes in the postal survey. The minister explained that the couple’s stance could appear that the church supported their views.