A Christian teenager in Australia has reportedly been fired from her job as a contractor for using a filter on Facebook that sent a message to her followers proclaiming that it is okay to vote “no” on legalizing gay marriage.
The woman in question, who is simply identified as Madeline, recently added an “It’s OK to Vote No” filter to her profile image — a filter that takes a stand on the country’s controversial postal survey about legalizing same-sex nuptials, The Christian Post reported.
But that filter reportedly led Madeline, 18, to lose her job, with Triple J Hack reporting that the company she works for — Capital Kids Parties, a child’s entertainment company — sent her a message saying that “homophobic views being made public are detrimental to the business.”
“I am in complete shock,” Madeline told the outlet after the firing. “I simply can’t vote yes without going against my God.”
Madeline said that she’s “not afraid to stand up for my beliefs and being a Christian” and that everyone on her feed was putting up “Vote Yes” filters. Rather than stay silent, she, too, wanted to make her voice heard.
She also pushed back against claims that she’s homophobic, citing her friendships and family relationships with gays and lesbians.
“And some of them are Christians, but when it comes to marriage, the Bible says it’s very clear. I haven’t discriminated against anyone,” Madeline told The Australian. “When it comes to tolerance, I find that people who are religious, we have to tolerate everything and anything thrown at us. But other people don’t have to tolerate Christians.”
As for her employer, Madlin Sims, Sims said that she couldn’t get past what Madeline posted on her Facebook page. Madeline had only just started working for Capital Kids Parties.
“She was very subtle about [her views on same-sex marriage], but any level of it I won’t tolerate it,” Sims said, going on to say that she fired Madeline before her views on gay marriage became a problem for the company.
She also likened the post about voting “no” to “hate speech” and hinted that there could be other elements that led to the firing.
“I still believe having her with us would have been risk,” she said, though she reportedly told Hack that what she did in firing the teenager was “bigoted.”
“What I did was bigoted,” she said. “But is it worse for me to be a bigot fighting for the rights of homosexuals or is it worse for her being a bigot telling people they can’t have equality?”
The story, which has attracted quite a bit of attention, also has some experts are warning that the firing was a violation of anti-discrimination laws. It’s unclear what will happen next.
The results of Australia’s national survey will be revealed on Nov. 7.