Marriage equality activists threw glitter, waved placards and chanted at security outside the Rally for Preservation of Marriage held at the Victory Life Centre in Osborne Park earlier this evening. About sixty protestors gathered to voice their opposition to the church’s stance on equal rights for same sex couples to marry.
Protestors attempted to drown out Christian rock music blaring from speakers in front of the centre with chants including ‘One, two, three, four, fuck the homophobic law; five, six, seven, eight, how d’you know your kids are straight?’, ‘Shame, bigot, shame’ and ‘Gay, straight, black or white; marriage is a civil right’.
At one stage the demonstration looked to be turning ugly when protestors engaged several conference marshals in a heated debate, however the situation was defused and the protest for the most part remained noisy but peaceful.
The protest was organised by Equal Love, with support from NUS, ECU and Curtin Student Guilds. Sam Cavallaro from Equal Love told OUTinPerth that they were protesting,
‘against Margaret Court’s right as a celebrity to come out and spew this homophobic filth and attack us with that and try and propagate this idea that there’s some sort of second class citizenship for gay and lesbian people. We have nothing against the church, nothing against Christianity there’s plenty of church groups that support us and support equal marriage rights.
‘It’s just these people feel that they should not just have their opinions but go as far as to have conversion therapy to try and convert people into being heterosexual. What we’re protesting about is some real acts of hatred against the queer community.’
Speaking outside the rally Pastor Barbara from the Victory Life centre told OUTinPerth that the protest had been expected, observing that she found it ironic that the protestors were describing marriage as a civil right,
‘They are saying that marriage is a civil right but Margaret Court has said that all along, that if they want to pursue a civil recognition in the law courts, the law courts of this land are civil and they will do that – but to enter into the foray of marriage which we believe is biblical based, it’s a divine sanction – God ordained it between a man and a woman – we just don’t feel that’s right. We’re not against them, we’re just saying that we do not feel that it is right at this time; we feel every child needs a Mum and a Dad and a family…We’re just standing up for family in our nation’.
Pastor Barbara reiterated, ‘Don’t seek marriage. Get your hands off marriage; Get your hands off the one institution that God ordained’.
Visit the gallery of photos from this event.
Note: This article was adjusted for accuracy, 10:54am April 25th 2012.