Conservative Australian MP Peter Dutton attacked openly gay Qantas chief executive, Alan Joyce for supporting marriage equality.
The immigration minister called out Joyce for mixing his personal beliefs with his corporate responsibilities.
In an address to the Liberal National party’s state council meeting, Dutton said: ‘Alan Joyce, the individual, is perfectly entitled to campaign for and spend his hard earned money on any issue he sees fit, but don’t do it in the official capacity and with shareholders money,’ reports the Guardian.
‘And certainly don’t use an iconic brand and the might of a multibillion dollar business on issues best left to the judgment of elected decision makers,’ he continued.
Qantas released a statement in response: ‘We respect the fact that not everyone agrees with marriage equality.
‘[B]ut opinion polls show the majority of Australians do, as do many of our employees.
‘We believe these issues are about the fundamental Australian value of fairness and we’re the national carrier,’ it continued.
Dutton tells CEOs: ‘Stick to your knitting’
The comments surfaced after the Australian Prime Minister received a letter signed by 30 of Australia’s largest companies advocating for marriage equality.
Companies included on the letter include Qantas, Telstra, Holden and also the Commonwealth Bank.
Dutton warned CEOs should ‘stick to their knitting’ and leave policy decisions to elected officials.
Dutton also said: ‘It is unacceptable’ that CEOs use ‘the money of publicly listed companies to throw their weight around.’
‘If Alan Joyce and any other CEO wants to campaign on this in their own time and on their own dime, good luck to them.’
Dutton also believes the Government cannot and will not be swayed on their stance against marriage equality.
He also said boycotts in social media campaigns of anti-marriage equality advocates are unfair.