The Port News reports…
“A sign publicly streaming a religious message opposing same-sex marriage to motorists and pedestrians on Gordon Street has been slammed as ‘hateful’ and ‘disgusting’.
John Lowe, the owner of the AJ and R Business Centre building at the Gordon Street and Ocean Drive intersection, posted the message on the LED sign on Wednesday morning.
The message from Romans 1:18-32, accompanied by today’s weather forecast, says ‘men do shameful things with each other’ when they choose not to have sexual relationships with a woman and for their decisions will suffer the ‘punishment they deserve for their wrongdoing’.
The Port News spoke with Mr Lowe who said the message, like the many religious streamers he personally posts on the sign, reflects his own opinion. He agreed that he knew it would upset some people, but was prepared to remove it when advised of the uproar it had caused.
“It’s just a general message. If it’s offending people I’ll take it down,” he said.
Laura Murphy was among several callers who phoned the Port News and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams’ office to complain about the message’s content.
“It is offensive and disgusting and should be taken down. A friend of mine had to explain to her children what it was all about on the way to school this morning,” she said.
Kristy Ringe described the message as a ‘hate speech’ against the gay community.
“It’s the most offensive and judgemental message,” she said.
“Religious groups should not be allowed to display something so disheartening so publicly and not have any consequences.”
The message was posted amid renewed conversation about same-sex marriage with Labor leader Bill Shorten to deliver a private member’s bill on the issue with the support of his deputy leader, Tanya Plibersek.
It follows the historic yes vote in favour of marriage equality in the socially conservative Republic of Ireland….”
Port Macquarie Nationals MP Leslie Williams told the NSW Parliament on November 12, 2013…
“Mrs LESLIE WILLIAMS (Port Macquarie) [8.14 p.m.]: On Saturday 2 November I was pleased to be invited to open the Port Macquarie Healing Rooms, which is an initiative of the Port Macquarie Citywide Christian Prayer Group. Healing rooms are ministries established in local communities that are open to the public at regular times of the week where anyone, no matter their denomination, can come to encounter the healing power of Jesus Christ. The Port Macquarie Healing Rooms on Gordon Street are set up in a similar style to a general practice or medical centre, with a welcoming reception and waiting area and three healing rooms. Team members undergo training, and recently a training school was held in Port Macquarie by national directors, Franklyn and Deanne Elliott. This opportunity was taken up by 63 members of our local churches and also included participants who wanted to take advantage of this opportunity so that there could be benefits for Kempsey and Taree.
There are 53 healing rooms in Australia, and worldwide there are 3,000 across 74 nations. I was informed at the function that a recent survey in Australia over the past 12 months indicated that 24,000 people have visited healing rooms throughout Australia. There are also healing rooms in Coffs Harbour and Kempsey and there is one in the initial stages of formation in Taree. The healing rooms are strongly supported by the Port Macquarie Minister’s Association, with sponsorship for insurance from the St Thomas Anglican Church. This initiative would not be possible without the support of volunteers who already represent eight of our local churches. I congratulate director Reverend David Curtis and associate director Stephen Lynn on their hard work in making sure that this initiative has become a reality for our community. I also acknowledge the support of advisory board members John Parer, Reverend David Blackmore, Pastors Todd Murray, Sue Kightley and Coral Bardell.
Finally, I acknowledge two very special people who have been extremely generous and without whose support this idea may never have been realised. I speak of John and Lesley Lowe who are local property identities in the Port Macquarie area and who have provided the premises for the healing rooms rent free for the first three years, including a free fit-out. I also thank the local tradesmen who have volunteered their labour and who are from different churches and trades. This united effort from such a broad range of people from across our community demonstrates what a team effort this has been and no doubt will be instrumental in its success and longevity. Again, I congratulate everybody involved on the opening of this fantastic local initiative. I have no doubt that other communities will be looking on with envy and trying to replicate its success.”