Hillsong On Marriage Equality: How To Dog Whistle Hate Without Even Really Trying


They put the ‘happy back in clapper’, the ‘cash back in Christian’, and now the Hillsong Church is trying to put the kybosh on marriage equality. Chris Graham explains.

Hillsong Church’s senior pastor, Brian Houston has recently issued a public plea to Christians everywhere to vote in the upcoming marriage equality postal plebiscite. That is, if it actually goes ahead. A High Court case is yet to be determined on the legality of Malcolm Turnbull blowing $122 million of taxpayers’ money on an entirely unscientific ‘non-compulsory postal poll’.

Anyhoo, Pastor Brian is not telling you how to vote, he’s just telling you how Jesus would. You remember Jesus… a Jewish man of Middle Eastern extraction who lived 2,000 years ago in abject poverty…. as opposed to Brian and his wife Bobbie, and their Church, which raked in $131 million tax free in 2016.

Houston’s statement is by some margin one of the more passive-aggressive interventions into the marriage equality debate, so I’ve reprinted it below, with some ‘reading between the lines’ explanations on what I think he’s really trying to say.

Over to Brian….

“I urge all Christians to be a part of the upcoming postal plebiscite on same sex marriage. Whatever your view on this issue, it is undeniably one that is important to the fabric of our social structure. Changing the definition of marriage has wide-reaching ramifications and should not be taken lightly by any society. All Australians should be a part of this process, not just a select few.

Vote no.

“For Christians, the issue is also a matter of faith and biblical teaching, something that should never be mocked or downplayed by those with opposing views.”

No really, vote no… even though we’re being oppressed.

“I believe God’s Word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear, as I have mentioned in previous public statements.”

God also thinks you should vote no. Gays and Lesbians are going to hell. How many times do I have to say that?

“Throughout this entire debate, some on both sides of the argument have failed to understand and respect the views of others.”

Cough. Lyle Shelton. Don’t be so damned obvious.

“Some of those advocating for change to the definition of marriage have confused faith convictions with bigotry however they must understand that Christian – and other religious – beliefs are extremely important to those who hold them and in fact are vital to a tolerant and free society.”

God told me that our belief in our right to deny other people the same rights as us is protected by the Gospel. Because Jesus.

“Sadly some also use Christianity to alienate and even condemn those who are gay and dismiss their desire to pursue happiness. As a Christian pastor, I will always teach and preach according to scripture and to my personal convictions, but I cannot make other people’s choices for them. God created humanity with a free will, and I care about all people including those who believe differently to me.”

To paraphrase George Brandis, ‘everyone has the right to be disgusting…’ and God will punish them for it later.

“In less than a month, Australians will receive the ballot papers, which gives us all the ability to cast a vote on the issue of same sex marriage. Hillsong Church already functions well and without impediment in other parts of the world where same sex marriage is legal, and as long as we are not forced through legislation to compromise our biblical convictions, we can quite comfortably continue to function whatever the outcome of this plebiscite.”

Marriage equality actually has no real effect on us at all, so you can vote yes if you really want to, but…

“It must be emphasised however, that for Christians to obtain an outcome consistent with their beliefs, they must vote.”

… if you vote ‘yes’, you’re going to hell along with all the Homosexuals.

“I believe that many Australians who are often referred to as the ‘silent majority’ feel strongly on this subject but allow louder and often more aggressive voices to control the public dialogue.”

Despite the rapid decline in people embracing Christianity, and all the polls showing overwhelming support for marriage equality, WE are the real silent majority. Because ‘minority’ actually means ‘majority’ in the Bible. And poverty means ‘a very big house’, and ‘a really nice car’.

“This plebiscite provides us all with an equal voice and we should not waste this opportunity.”

If you don’t vote no, you’ll burn in the fires of hell for eternity.

“Love and Blessings, Brian Houston, Senior Pastor – Hillsong Church”

We accept all major credit cards, and donations are tax deductible. And our online store currently has a special on my wife Bobbie’s book, Stay The Path. For that price you get 28 copies to bombard your family and friends with, and it’s marked down from $700 to $420, for a limited time only. You think I’m kidding. I’m not.


Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.