Activists confront anti-queer Christian fundamentalists

Equal marriage rally, Adelaide, August 13. Photo: Gemma Weedall

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.

Comments

Why not target anti-queer muslim fundamentalists? Gay Asutralians, particularly males, face a much greater threat from muslim fundies, just like in Europe.
Islam has next to no institutional power in the Australian parliament, but Christianity does and uses it to preach anti-queer rhetoric and push for anti-queer laws. You're making up a fable to bash muslims and letting actual existing homophobes with power off the hook.
Because Muslim fundamentalists aren't standing in the mall loudly condemning people whereas the Christian ones are.
These people are not preachers. They are dull witted, ignorant,loud mouthed, aggressive thugs. They are hypocrites. They are not preaching love. They are inciting hatred.
I just wish they would stop preaching. I should get in touch with Australian Atheiests and get a group to set up next to them preaching about how rediculous their view are, but there is no need to stoop to their level. Even better, I might pay Jeff Jeffreys to perform his religious sketch in front of them (check out his youtube clip if you don't understand). If you want to preach, do it in a church. We have freedom of religion in this country, therefore I have the right to not believe, and should not face abuse from idiots like these when I go shopping.
I think if anyone should be able to take action against these fruits it should be the business owners paying rent in the mall. Business is hard enough to get these days without competing with these hate mongerers shouting outside of their shops. They are even gathering around flea markets as with victor Harbour last weekend. I know I wont be going to the mall on a Friday night from now on. Not what I call a relaxing night out! Renee