REPORT: Telstra’s former chairwoman ‘struck a deal’ with the Catholic Church to stop campaigning for marriage equality

Former Telstra chair, Catherine Livingstone. Image: Telstra

A new report claims Telstra’s former chairwoman, and the current president of the Business Council of Australia, Catherine Livingstone, struck a deal with the church to pull the telco’s public support for marriage equality.

The Australian is saying that Livingstone was called into the office of Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher last October where she was asked to justify Telstra’s campaigning for marriage equality. She allegedly justified it by saying the telco needed to keep both markets onside.

The pair, who have both known each other for years, eventually came to a compromise. As part of that, Telstra would keep its logo on the Australian Marriage Equality page, but it would stop publicly campaigning around the issue.

Telstra released a statement on the issue yesterday, when it first arose that the telco would be pulling its support for marriage equality, allegedly due to pressure from the church. They said:

“The government has committed to putting same-sex marriage before the Australian people in a plebiscite and, ulti­mately, it will be parliament who determines any changes to the ­institution of marriage.

“In view of this, Telstra has no further plans to figure prominently in the wider public debate.”

Telstra is still yet to confirm or deny any influence from the Catholic Church in its decision to pull support from marriage equality campaigns.

There’s more over at The Australian.