Fundamentalist Christian street preachers faced stiff opposition from activists who rallied against their public sermons in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall on September 2.
Members of the right-wing religious group found themselves surrounded by a large crowd of activists who rallied for more than five hours.
The rally’s theme was “love not hate”.
The rally aimed to show solidarity for those who have received verbal abuse and suffered violence, particularly homosexual youths often targeted by the fringe Christians.
Some of the Christians have turned up to recent Adelaide rallies for marriage equality and taunted the rallygoers with homophobic signs and slogans.
The fundamentalist group received national attention last month, when an appeal by Adelaide City Council aiming to gag their public sermons with a by-law was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Characterised by their red and white signs outlining the various means of damnation, the preachers gather on most Friday nights.
Justice Chris Kourakis said the preachers had a legal right to assemble and that “an obligation to obtain permission to speak on political matters is incompatible with the system of democracy and responsible government established under the constitution”.
Nonetheless, many of the protesters expressed a strong desire to see the preachers gone from the mall.
“Go home preachers!” shouted one student, who later said she had suffered regular verbal abuse from some members of the Christian group.
Protesters blew horns to drown out the sound of the preachers and offered shoppers free hugs.
Organisers hope to make the rally a regular event.