Parishioners raise $21,000 for anti-same sex marriage ad

IN SOMETHING of a David and Goliath feat, a small group of Toowoomba residents has bankrolled a television advertising campaign targeting the same-sex marriage lobby.

President of the Australian Marriage Forum Dr David van Gend, a Toowoomba family doctor, called for help to raise the $20,000 required to make and run the advertisements in Sydney at the weekend.

The ads focussing on same-sex marriage from the viewpoint of the rights of the child, ran in prime time Saturday night on Channel 9 and Channel 7 in Sydney in direct opposition to the 2015 Sydney Mardi Gras parade which one media report claimed attracted a crowd of 200,000.

The advertisement was pulled by SBS management.

The AMF ads, which featured Dr van Gend, reportedly reached a prospective television audience of 800,000 across Sydney.

Dr van Gend yesterday thanked parishioners of the Holy Name Catholic Church in Toowoomba through which $21,000 had been raised in about one week for the weekend's advertising campaign in Sydney.

He asked parishioners to pray for him and those associated with their campaign which he said often received an "ugly" response from some proponents of same-sex marriage.

Dr van Gend said he expected to be interviewed about the issue on national morning television as early as today.

In the AMF television ad, which can be viewed at Dr van Gend contends that the same-sex marriage debate dealt solely with the rights of the adult and not the rights of the child concerned.

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"Children have an equal right wherever possible to both a mum and a dad," Dr van Gend said.

"So-called marriage equality forces a child to miss out on a mother or a father.

"That's not equality for the kids who miss out. That's not marriage."

National director of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome, was quoted by Sydney media yesterday saying the ads timing highlighted how "out of place anti-gay prejudice is in our increasingly inclusive and respectful society."

"If this campaign has any impact at all, its obvious prejudice and fear mongering will actually increase support for marriage equality," he was quoted.

The report said Mr Croome claimed children currently in the care of same-sex couples deserve the same opportunities as other children.

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