Madden told to take homophobic hate truck out of Lismore
Controversial anti-gay Christian preacher Peter Madden had his ‘Queensland Election Prayer Rally Tour’ over the weekend forced into an unexpected pit-stop at Lismore, as members of the gay and lesbian community vandalised Madden’s rally truck with paint and glitter.
Others meanwhile attempted a blockade before the local mayor urged Madden to leave the Northern Rivers town for good.
Police were eventually forced to move the vehicle from the quiet residential street it had been parked at to Lismore Police Station, where for reasons of safety it remained until this morning.
On Saturday night, the failed Christian Democratic Party candidate parked the truck on Cathcart Street before going to a nearby motel, with the vehicle’s giant billboards warning of the “dark side of same-sex marriage” and “homosexual sex ed for your children” still clearly visible.
By Sunday morning, the truck had been defaced with glitter, streamers and messages calling for “equal rights” and “gay rights”, while some of its tyres had also been deflated.
A crowd of protestors chanting, “Take the banners down” had also gathered to confront Madden, with two protestors, including well-known local Fairy Princess Amber, also chaining their necks to Madden’s truck so as to prevent it from leaving.
“He knew it was going to be a worry and that’s why he didn’t park on the main highways, he parked it on the backstreets so this wouldn’t happen,” one protestor said.
“I’m just totally amazed Peter that this truck has been able to get from Sydney to Lismore without being stopped.”
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell spoke with both protestors and Madden during yesterday’s incident, saying that while she did not condone the “malicious damage” there was no room for anti-gay sentiment in the region which boasts a high LGBT population.
“I did express strongly to him (Mr Madden) that those views and that truck were not welcome here. The signs were linking homosexuality to paedophilia and those views are not welcome in Lismore,” she said.
Madden however denied that his truck tour was promoting hate or attempting to tar the gay and lesbian community with insinuations of paedophilia.
“There is no way I draw that conclusion from what’s on my truck,” he said.
“There is nothing about hatred on the truck.
“What the message on the truck is saying is that we, as the majority of Australians, are concerned about the development and education of our children.”
Lismore police today informed SX that they are continuing to investigate the damage caused to Madden’s truck by the alleged vandalism.
“Police are considering whether it is also appropriate to charge the two persons who chained themselves to the vehicle yesterday for obstruction,” a spokesperson for Lismore police said.
It was also revealed that police moved the vehicle to Lismore Police Station due to safety concerns.
“It has since been collected by its owner who has left with it,” the police spokesperson added.
Madden is expected to arrive in Brisbane on March 22 for a “major prayer rally” at King George Square only two days ahead of the Queensland state election.
Equal Love groups are planning to hold their own rally at the square on the same day.
Image: Anna Rosendahl