Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has labelled the circumstances behind Andrew Thorburn’s resignation as Essendon CEO “ridiculous”.
Thorburn resigned on Tuesday after being told he could not hold the position while simultaneously being chair of controversial City on the Hill church, which has published anti-gay and anti-abortion views in the past.
Essendon president David Barham confirmed Thorburn was unwilling to resign from his position at the church, instead opting to quit as CEO of the Bombers.
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Victorian premier Daniel Andrews labelled some stances held by Thorburn’s church as “absolutely appalling”, but said he would still renew his Essendon membership.
Andrews weighed in on the situation again following Thorburn’s resignation from the Bombers.
“I lead the Pride March every year, I do that with a sense of genuine concern and support and commitment to make sure that every LGBTQIA+ Victorian is safe, respected and valued. If I’m to be criticised for that – then so be it.
“I’m much more focused on the fact that people are harming themselves and sometimes taking their own lives because of bigotry and prejudice.
“I had no involvement in him being appointed or his resignation.”
Guy, speaking on 3AW, said Thorburn’s resignation set a bad precedent.
“What are we now banning people from going to church, banning people from going to a synagogue, banning people from going to a mosque? This is ridiculous,” he said.
“Football clubs can hire who they choose. I don’t see, if I was the premier, why I would be telling people who they can hire and fire; why would you?”
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