Kevin Rudd's public humiliation of Christian Pastor Matt Prater on Monday night's Q&A is yet another reason why a referendum of the Australian people may be needed to settle the issue of same-sex marriage.
As the nation's leader, the PM was giving powerful permission for the ostracising of those who wish to hold to the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
For those whose conscience will always cause them to hold this view, it was chilling to watch. And this is before one jot or tittle of the Marriage Act has been changed.
Parliamentarians should not be put in the position of having to decide if this is how their fellow Australians are to be treated once the law of the land is changed.
The law is a powerful instrument and emboldened by it, some will use it as a big stick to further silence those who wish to speak up publicly for man-woman marriage.
What was also profoundly disturbing about Monday night was the two different Mr Rudds on display.
Earlier that evening I hosted ACL's own Q&A-style election panel which featured former Rudd Government Attorney-General Robert McClelland and former deputy prime Minister John Anderson.
ACL webcast the event live to more than 300 churches at 7:30pm, kicking off with exclusive video messages from Mr Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Mr Rudd's pitch to Christian voters was gracious and respectful. While he knew most of the webcast audience was disappointed by his change on marriage, he earned points for his conciliatory tone as he admitted this.
He even went so far to say that it was okay for Christians to disagree with him in "equal prayerful conscience".
By 10:30 when many of us arrived home and tuned into the ABC's Q&A we were just in time to see Mr Rudd's "prayerful conscience" approach to tolerance going out the window.
We saw a glimpse of what freedom of speech and freedom of belief might look like in the future as Pastor Matt Prater was mocked by the crowd.
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