Anti-gay marriage TV campaign sparks backlash

TOOWOOMBA residents have responded angrily to a TV ad campaign targeting the same-sex marriage lobby.

Toowoomba family medico Dr David van Gend, with the help of $21,000 raised by parishioners of the Holy Name Catholic Church, made and ran the ad which calls for "equality" for the child in a marriage.

The ad was part of the Australian Marriage Forum campaign opposing same-sex marriage, called Think of the Child.

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

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"We hear a lot about marriage equality, but what about equality for kids. Children have an equal right wherever possible to both a mum and a dad," Dr van Gend says on the ad.

Toowoomba bi-sexual single mother Sam Biffin said the ad was further proof of the "conservative" town she grew up in.

Ms Biffin has looked after her six-year-old daughter on her own since she was 10-weeks-old and said her daughter had all the love she needed.

"Two women, two men, a man and a woman, a single parent - as long as all aspects of a child's life are looked after, it doesn't matter who their parents are."

"Single mums and single dads have raised kids since the beginning of time and they've turned out fine.

"A child just needs someone to teach them love, respect and discipline."

Ms Biffin said she knew of plenty of lesbian and gay couples who had children who were loved as much as anyone.

She said despite some change Toowoomba remained a city conservative towards its Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex community.

"Same-sex couples still can't walk downtown holding hands."

Are children raised in same-sex families at a disadvantage?

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The majority of The Chronicle's online readers also opposed the ad.

"What a total waste of money that could help homeless children or some charity," one reader said.

The ad ran in prime time Saturday night on Channel 9 and Channel 7 in Sydney in direct opposition to the 2015 Sydney Mardi Gras parade.

However, it was pulled by SBS management ahead of its telecast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on Sunday night.

Dr van Gend was approached for comment, but did not reply.


  • Richelle Moffett: It is so very sad that small minded people believe that a child needs to be raised in a heterosexual relationship. A child needs to be raised in a loving relationship by two people who love and protect that child.
  • Mel Maneki Neko Morrow: And what about children who are born to a mum and a dad, then it turns out the child has been abused and neglected. At least when gay people adopt it's because they actually want a child to love and care for.
  • Edward Thomas: This ad and article fills me with sadness. We live in a progressive society yet I live in a town where people are bankrolling adverts to attack a section of the community. I feel absolutely sick to my stomach.
  • Ally Petrou: That's disgraceful. I see some people in Toowoomba are still small minded and bigoted. Someone should organise a gay marriage and parenting parade down Ruthven St.
  • Bridie Murray: Ashamed to have told people we lived in Toowoomba. At least if we move back I know what doctor not to visit. Also, what an incredible waste of money that could have gone to a legitimate, worthwhile cause.
  • Gina Webb-Hall: What a total waste of money that could help homeless children or some charity. Hang your heads in shame