‘I’ve been called a putrid skank’: Woman who sacked No voter
THE businessowner of a children's party business who sacked one of her workers for promoting the "no" vote has had a Facebook post deleted for apparently causing hate speech while she cops a series of abusive messages and death threats on social media.
The 18-year-old worker, who has been identified only by her first name Madeline, was let go as a contractor by the Canberra small business for posting a Facebook profile picture with a filter saying "It's OK to vote no".
Capital Kids Parties business owner Madlin Sims said she fired Madeline because "advertising your desire to vote no for SSM [same-sex marriage] is, in my eyes, hate speech".
She says she has since been called a skank, wh**e, b**ch, putrid and a sl*t.
What followed was a she-said-she-said series of interviews and press attention which culminated in Ms Sims posting to Facebook last night.
In the Facebook post, which she later posted to Instagram, Ms Sims explained she wanted to be "loud and clear" over her version of events and her subsequent treatment by the Australian public.
"Now, I've been called a skank, wh**e, b**ch, putrid and a sl*t," she wrote.
"Someone even brought up my stance on refugees and said they hope my two-year-old son gets raped for it.
"My brother has received death threats and been called horrible names."
It comes after Madeline told press yesterday that she is "very hurt" about being fired.
She said the situation was made worse because she wasn't able to articulate her position to Ms Sims before she was fired.
"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," Madeline said.
"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."
In her Instagram post, Ms Sims defended her choice, calling Madeline "a risk".
"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 responsibility to the vulnerable people we work with, could not risk her voicing those opinions to any children of ours.
"We have gay staff members. We entertain at parties where the children of gay parents attend. We entertain at parties where gay children attend. This. Woman. Was. A. Risk."
Madeline disagreed that she was a "risk" to gay customers of the business or children.
"I have many gay friends and gay family and I've never felt there was any risk," she said.
"We just respect each others' views and if I'm attending a party dressed up as Minnie Mouse or something and the child I'm there for is same-sex attracted then I'm going to love that child like I would any other child."
After her post was deleted by Facebook, Ms Sims re-posted confirming it would be "the last I will be speaking on the matter of letting the staff member go because that's not the issue I care about and it's distracting from the real one.
"My last post got deleted by Facebook for hate speech (yet all the homophobic comments are still on my other post go figure)."
She urged those who supported her to donate to the "Yes" campaign.
Meanwhile, Madeline said her views were based on her faith.
"I have been raised a Christian my whole life and, in the Bible, God clearly states that a man and a man and a woman and a woman are not to be together," she said.
"I believe that man and woman were created for each other and that when we're together it's a beautiful thing.
"I also understand that people are born gay and with same-sex attraction and that is not their fault. I think that is a beautiful thing sometimes. I have gay Christian friends and they are wonderful, wonderful people and they are wonderful ministers to other same-sex attracted Christians.
"I love everyone. I'm not a hateful person and I do believe that everyone should have equality, but to vote yes, to me, is something that I can't do. I simply cannot do it."
Madeline said she was "tempted" to take legal action for unfair dismissal but did not feel it would do any good.
"I was thinking about it, just because I wanted that recognition of tolerance for both sides, but in the end I don't think it would actually get anyone anywhere," she said.
When Ms Sims was asked whether her views were hypocritical and counter-productive to her message of equality, she said: "We've got views and then we've got sexuality and it really breaks my heart that in this day and age it seems to be a common theme that … you get into more trouble for being a hypocrite than you will for being a homophobe."
Meanwhile, the Fair Work Ombudsman is to investigate the case. A FWO spokesman said: "The Fair Work Ombudsman is aware of this matter and in order to form an assessment as to whether any workplace laws have been breached will be contacting the parties involved as part of its inquiries."
Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, a former Employment Minister, said yesterday the action could be a breach of Fair Work laws.
"It is unlawful for an employer to take any action against an employee on the basis of a political opinion," he said.
"Apart from being a fundamental attack on free speech, it is unlawful for an employer to sack an employee on the basis of a political opinion - including voting 'no' on the marriage survey," Senator Abetz said.
"This action is deeply disappointing and I am hopeful that it will be fully investigated and if appropriate, prosecuted."