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June 9, 2023

Two in court over homophobia protests

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‘Homophobia hurts us all, including our children.’

That’s the message that local mother Valerie Thompson is continuing to promote outside Lismore Courthouse today as two protesters of the Peter Madden ‘Hate Truck’ face court today. Ms Thompson and other supporters have gathered outside the Zadoc St Court House from 9.15am.

Troy Dunn and Amber McBride (aka international performer Fanny Waterfalls) have been charged after police found them locked onto a vehicle in Cathcart St Lismore, on March 17. The truck displayed messages against equal marriage rights, titled ‘The dark side of gay marriage’. The colourful protest action against the truck received both national and international media attention, as well as condemnation from many including Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell. Despite further actions in Brisbane and Sydney, Mr Madden refused to cease his homophobic campaign.

Ms Thompson says she is participating in today’s vigil as a symbol of many people’s gratitude to the actions of the two locals.

‘As a mother, lesbian, and active contributor to the Lismore community I was deeply offended and demoralised when the vehicle, whose messages linked gay marriage to child safety, began displaying its vitriolic lies in our region,’ Ms Thompson said.

‘It was, however, a wonderful feeling when my daughter and I joined with other parents, families and community members to voice our protest in style and creativity,’ Ms Thompson said.

‘Our love and pride of identity contrasted strongly with the dark and clearly misguided messages on the truck. The day became more like a celebration of the diversity and supportive communities we have here.

‘It made me so proud of Lismore. I truly hope the court’s decision today recognises their actions in terms of our responsibility to stand up against homophobia, injustice, and those who publicly pedal messages of hate and misinformation,’ Ms Thompson said.


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