Fewer than 100 people attended an anti-Mardi Gras protest in Martin Place on Saturday despite a call from the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) for “10,000 warriors” to attend what they say will now be an annual event.
Both the CDP candidate for Sydney, Peter Madden, and CDP MLC the Rev Fred Nile evoked the story of Sodom and Gomorrah at the protest — cities they said were destroyed because of “homosexual immorality”.
Nile said he feared God would judge Sydney in a similar way and warned that the participation of government workers increased “the blasphemy of the event”.
“Our city really does provoke God,” Nile said, claiming that the Mardi Gras parade was worse than sex shops, brothels and strip shows — which were “not blatant” like the parade.
Madden told protesters “the gates of hell” were in the city before handing around what he claimed were pieces of brimstone from Sodom and Gomorrah.
“The greatest judgement that has ever come on the earth in all of the world’s history came about in Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality and lewd acts,” Madden said.
“Hold them in your hands just for a minute and let the reality of the curse that comes upon the land because of sexual immorality … We do not want Sydney to be another Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Madden claimed that legalising same-sex marriage would take away the “right” of parents to decide what children were taught in schools.
Marriage equality was also a “public health” risk, as Madden claimed homosexuals died “20 to 25 years” younger than heterosexuals.
Another speaker lamented that homosexuals had stolen the meaning of rainbows while a Coptic priest claimed that the “Judeo-Christian faith” had invented marriage and that the Bible would unravel if gays were allowed to marry.
The Star Observer spoke to Nile about Madden’s admission to this paper that he had had sex with prostitutes in California where prostitution is illegal.
Nile said that if Madden returned to California he should report himself to police.
Madden told the Star Observer he had not been aware that his brother John was marching in the Mardi Gras parade to apologise for his campaign against the event.
“I’m not responsible for his conscience and people have different views,” Madden said. “He will stand for what he stands for and I will stand for what I stand for.”
Madden said he was a changed man but agreed to turn himself into police if he returned to California.
“That’s who I used to be, and I was set free,” he said.