Lismore’s gay and lesbian community has grounded a truck displaying signage with anti-gay messages which warn of the dangers of same-sex marriage to children.
Locals staged a protest throughout the night and this morning, blockading the truck by parking another vehicle in front it while around 10 – 15 protesters sat behind it to demand the signage be taken down.
Overnight, slogans featuring the words ‘equal love’ and ‘love not hate’ were graffitied over the truck’s signage and the vehicle was covered with coloured streamers and glitter.
A local demonstrator, who requested not to be named, said the protest was not formally planned but was a, “groundswell community response.”
“There were a lot of families there who were distressed and offended by the message,” she told the Star Observer.
“This truck has been travelling the state and no-one is doing anything about it.”
Two locals also chained themselves to the vehicle, but were later cut off and one of the truck’s tyres had been let down.
Failed NSW Christian Democratic Party candidate Peter Madden arrived at the scene this morning and a heated exchange reportedly took place between Madden and protesters.
Lismore Police Sergeant Brett Lloyd said the truck has now been impounded and police will conduct further investigations into the graffiti and issues of public disturbance.
Local resident Dave Willis told the Star Observer protesters had been peaceful.
“I can’t believe it’s allowed on the road,” Willis said.
“If there was a truck with racist or sexist slogans, people would be up in arms.
“Why is it I have to wake up on a Sunday morning and see hate parked outside my door?”
The truck was stationed in Lismore overnight on its way to target ALP electorates in Queensland with its anti-gay message.
Embarking on a ‘Queensland Election Prayer Rally Tour’, the truck’s billboard claims young children will be subjected to ‘homosexual sex-ed’ that it says is already happening in Europe and the US.
The truck is set to travel to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, on its way to a major prayer rally at King George Square in the Brisbane CBD on March 22, two nights before the state election.
Amateur images of the truck went viral on social media platforms this week when the truck was first spotted in Gosford with users overwhelmingly expressing disgust and outrage.
The truck’s signage directs readers to the Stand4Marriage.org.au website which is registered to Australian Heart Ministries and Warwick Marsh – the founder of the The Fatherhood Foundation.
Marsh was dumped as one of the Federal Government’s men’s health ambassadors in 2008 by then Health Minister Nicola Roxon over his anti-gay views.