Christian Democrat and anti-same-sex marriage activist Peter Madden was confronted by a crowd of around a hundred protestors in Hyde Park today as he returned to Sydney after driving to Brisbane in a truck covered in anti-equality messages.
Madden drove the truck to Brisbane, which carried the message “The dark side of same-sex marriage – homosexual sex-ed for your young children,” in the hopes of influencing the Queensland State Election, but a rally he held there was only attended by a dozen supporters and around five hundred counter protestors.
In Hyde Park, Madden repeated his claim that young children would be given gay sex education if same-sex marriage was legalised, and repeatedly made the claim that programs aimed at getting young LGBTIs to accept themselves were more responsible for young people killing themselves than his views, as they lead to sexually confused people adopting an LGBTI identity.
Madden claimed that greater acceptance of sexual diversity in the US state of California had coincided with a rise in young people killing themselves, but was challenged on this by a Californian gay man in the crowd who said that he would not be alive if it was not for the acceptance of the LGBTI community.
A woman who had tried to kill herself when she was 13 told Madden it was views like his that had lead to her doing so, but he would not concede that his views caused harm.
He was also challenged on what he said were higher rates of paedophilia among gay men by youth and social workers and a psychologist who worked with young people – although he conceded that most gay men were not paedophiles.
Madden said that he was not homophobic and loved homosexuals despite these views, and claimed he had empathy with homosexuals as he had been molested as a child – something he claimed was one of a number of factors that lead to people being gay.
Madden claimed that, for most people, being gay was a choice but when challenged by a member of the crowd who had been sent to an ex-gay ministry, conceded that gay men who chose to marry women for religious reasons did not lose their same-sex attraction.
Before leaving Madden told protestors that he and they were locked in spiritual and political warfare and hoped “the best man wins.”
While Madden spoke to counter protestors, the truck was driven around Hyde Park multiple times.
After about an hour and a half of arguing with protestors, Madden left the park under police escort to drive off in the truck.
The Star Observer will provide you with a more detailed account and photos from the event tomorrow.