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Senator calls attack on gay marriage opponent ‘cowardly’

Dr David van Gend was targeted for his stance on same-sex marriage. Photo Contributed
Dr David van Gend was targeted for his stance on same-sex marriage. Photo Contributed Contributed

THE "cowardly attack" on the property of Dr David van Gend insulted the decency of the Toowoomba community, according to Toowoomba-based Senator Barry O'Sullivan.

Toowoomba's Dr David van Gend said he returned from an interstate visit on Monday to find his Toowoomba medical centre vandalised with the word "bigot", the anarchy symbol, and his surname.

"As someone who sits in the Federal Parliament, I can confidently say that this type of protest does nothing to change the minds of those who oppose same-gender marriage," Senator O'Sullivan said.

"In fact, this type of attack only strengthens the resolve of those who believe the best course of action moving forward is for the definition of marriage to remain as being between a man and a woman.

"To whoever carried out this attack, I say that you have only damaged your cause in the eyes of the public.

"You have also broken the law - and may yet face criminal charges if discovered.

"I have known Dr van Gend for many years and he is a thoroughly decent man whose views and actions are driven by the strengths of his convictions. Dr van Gend has been a formidable defender of the rights of families for many, many years.

"As a doctor and community leader, he is entitled to hold his beliefs without fear of retribution from his opponents. These views have been formed after significant personal study and reflection.

"Every citizen of Toowoomba should be outraged at this attack."

Senator O'Sullivan is on the record as opposing any changes to the longstanding definition of marriage.

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