Same-sex marriage protesters clash outside Queensland church

SUPPORTERS and opponents of same sex marriage have clashed outside a Brisbane church following the High Court decision allowing a postal vote to go ahead.

Police say one woman was arrested for obstructing police and another person suffered a minor injury during the angry stand-off outside the Ashgrove church on Thursday night.

Protesters outside the claimed they were attacked with cars as they gathered to oppose a meeting they described as a "homophobic forum".

One woman was treated by paramedics.

Jessica Payne, who was injured at the scene, said the crowd was aggressive and "extremely violent".

"I suffered an injury because people drove their cars nearly at full speed into the yes campaigners here today," she told Nine's Today.

"It was extremely scary, extremely irresponsible, and police actually tried to help the people in the cars get through the crowd of protesters."

The protest was organised by the National Union of Students to coincide with a meeting scheduled to be held at the church entitled "Safe Schools - education or social engineering?".

Cabinet minister Peter Dutton told the Nine network this morning that the incident did not reflect the respectful debate the government wants on marriage reform.

"Of course it's not. Conduct yourself in a reasonable way. Have a respectful discussion," he urged during an interview on the Nine Network.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said the church stand-off was unsurprising, and the government's postal survey was always going to be divisive.

"That was one of the concerns we had about a plebiscite or a postal vote - that there would be division in the community," he told Nine.

He said incidents like the one at Ashgrove didn't advance the yes or the no campaign.

"You can have different points of view without engaging in that sort of behaviour."

Footage of the stand-off showed pushing,shoving and shouting outside the Banks Street church, where yes campaigners had tried to disrupt a meeting of marriage reform opponents.

The incident happened just hours after the High Court gave the green light to the government's survey, and dismissing challenges about the way it had been funded.

News Corp Australia


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