Knowing he’ll be outnumbered by a massive amount of people mobilising against his anti-equality message, mischievous right-wing Christian pundit Peter Madden says he no longer wants his few supporters to join him in Sydney’s Hyde Park this Sunday to rally for ‘traditional’ marriage.
Madden (pictured) is now apprehensive about holding rallies since 500 marriage equality supporters drowned out his 20-or-so followers in a Brisbane rally recently.
The preacher claims the LGBT crowd in Queensland displayed “anger and hostility”, scaring away others who planned to attend his prayer gathering there.
This means that Madden – who appeared in Brisbane with his notorious gay-hate truck – has had a re-think about this Sunday’s event in Hyde Park.
“Following conversations with the police and out of concern for peoples’ safety I am asking people who were planning to attend the rally not to, but to pray from wherever they are,” he now says on his stand4marriage website.
“I will go alone to Hyde Park North at 3pm to answer questions and concerns of members of the homosexual community. I would appreciate, however, any Godly men who know how to stand their ground and pray without being provoked or intimidated, to stand with me.”
Given that Madden will still be at the park – maybe with a couple of men if he’s lucky – Sydney’s marriage equality rally will still take place.
“The fact that he is no longer confident to attempt to mobilise people is a victory against bigotry,” Community Action Against Homophobia Co-convenor Cat Rose says.
“The tide is turning against people like him, his bigoted attack on marriage rights for same-sex couples is now a clear minority position – 80% of young people support equality and more than 60% of all adults do too. But we can’t just stop at this backdown from Madden, the real victory will come when we see this legislation removed.”
Adds fellow Co-Convenor Bryn Hutchinson: “I welcome the opportunity to have a dialogue with Mr Madden. As someone who had to negotiate their sexuality through the world view of fundamentalist Christianity, and has found that there is a far broader and accepting church than that portrayed by Mr Madden, I look forward to raising my concerns directly with him regarding the derogatory message he has been promoting. It is neither representative of Christianity nor based in respect for the dignity and value of others.”
Metropolitan Community Church Pastor Karl Hand agrees. “Peter Madden doesn’t speak for Christians, and I personally know many Christian people who are just horrified about this message of hate.
“It’s hard to imagine a message less Christ-like than a truck which targets the vulnerable and implies that their relationships are harmful to children. I do commend Madden for having the personal courage to come to the counter rally alone, and to engage in dialogue. I hope he finds that the people he meets there are decent, loving people, who just want to be treated fairly.”
Join the peaceful counter-protest at Hyde Park North this Sunday 1 April at 3pm and inform Peter Madden of your concerns about the message he is sending to young people, families and the broader community.
The next rally for equal marriage rights will be on Saturday 12 May at 1pm, Town Hall.