Anti-LGBT Christian activists in Australia are furious after their event plans went awry.
The Australian Christian Lobby has been at the front line of attacking LGBT rights in Australia, leading the charge to derail plans for same-sex marriage, and successfully convincing the right-wing government to censor LGBT anti-bullying lessons in schools with a prolonged smear campaign.
However, a group of activists got their own back this week in a small way this week, after the ACL posted an open invite to an anti-LGBT rally in Melbourne online.
The event was billed as a chance for ACL chief Lyle Shelton, who has refused to apologise for comparing LGBT people to Nazis, to give “give a real time update on the status of attempts at same-sex marriage legislation [and] the ‘safe schools’ program”.
However, LGBT activists decided to have some fun.
Drag act Pauline Pantsdown took to Facebook to share their invite with their 23,000 followers, writing: “As you know, we at the PP page never miss an ACL event! Please RSVP for Lyle’s talk in Melbourne this Saturday.”
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The event was flooded with fake RSVPs – with more than 54,000 mostly-fictitious sign ups for the event, which was held in a small church with a capacity of 600.
Concerned about masses of people turning up, Mr Shelton claims he even hired security guards to keep out the non-existent crowds.
After the prank, he fumed: “As Christian people, we have to got to start taking the political agenda behind the rainbow flag very seriously because it’s not neutral and it is seeking to create a regime that will limit freedom of speech – and limit the expression of the gospel itself.
““I think this is something all Christians should be concerned about.”
He added that some of the RSVPs contained “the foulest, most degrading, most obscene written forms of communication I have seen in my life”.
Pauline Pantsdown, real name Simon Hunt, said Shelton’s actions have been far more harmful than the impact of the stunt.
Hunt said: “Someone who spends their life directly threatening the safety of trans children is hiring three cardboard security guards to protect himself from fake RSVP names on a website.
“The only ‘filth’ here is a man who targets the most vulnerable children in the country, assigning them to his ideological scrap heap as collateral damage, mere pawns in a doomed crusade against the unrelated topic of same-sex marriage.”
The Australian Christian Lobby recently opposed the removal of Queensland’s archaic ‘gay panic’ law – which allows homophobic murderers to get away with violent crimes by claiming their gay victim made sexual advances.