Members of the LGBTI community have been cautioned to steer clear of the “straight lives matter” rally being organised in Sydney tomorrow, with advocates warning it may be staged to deliberately provoke a response from yes voters.
The rally, which has been staged by the far-right Party for Freedom, is slated to be held at Green Park in Darlinghurst.
Convenor of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Lauren Foy, urged people to avoid the rally.
“The goal of this group is not to persuade nor debate,” she said.
“It is to provoke a response and increase media attention.
“We know the organisers have a history of provocation and their minds are already made up on marriage equality. We also know these individuals are not approaching us in a respectful, open-minded way to discuss concerns or issues.
“There is no benefit to you hearing, again, the debunked ‘slippery slope’ claims about LGBTI people and marriage equality promoted by this group.”
Foy and the lobby also noted that the organisers of the counter-rally, listed as Anti Fascist Sydney, aren’t affiliated with the Yes campaign’s official group of organisations.
“It should go with out saying that no matter what your political views are, violence and physical intimidation are never acceptable,” Foy said.
“We must remember what this is about – love, dignity, and mutual respect.”
The NSW Police have said there will be a police presence at the event.
“Police are aware of a demonstration planned to take place in Darlinghurst at the weekend and will have a police presence in place, including Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers,” a spokesperson said.
“The NSW Police Force respects the public’s right to protest and is committed to working with all groups with regard to public assemblies to ensure they are conducted lawfully and peacefully.
“Anyone who breaks the law or engages in antisocial behaviour will be dealt with accordingly.”