‘Christian Lives Matter’ protesters try to drown out queer concert with prayers

christian lives matter protesters sydney heaps gay concert
Photo: Facebook

A group of “Christian Lives Matter” protesters have picketed a “Heaps Gay” concert in Sydney, chanting hymns in a bid to drown out the music.

The City of Sydney is running a month-long series of outdoor “Sunset Piazza” concerts in the publicly-owned St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt in the inner-city.


As part of the series, event producers Heaps Gay put on their Live N’ Queer concert on Saturday evening.

The promoters described the event as a “chaotic queer variety show” featuring some of the year’s “loudest and queerest acts”.

However an ad used by Heaps Gay to promote the show featured an illustration of the adjacent St Mary’s Cathedral, outraging Christians.

Last week, the city council pulled the ad after a complaint from the Sydney Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher.

On Saturday night, the group of “Christian Lives Matter” protesters gathered on the steps of the Cathedral ahead of the concert.

The protesters chanted hymns and held up religious banners as the Heaps Gay concert went ahead nearby.

Heaps Gay concert ‘makes a mockery of Christianity’

Christian Lives Matter organiser Charlie Bakhos claimed the concert organisers were making a “mockery of the Catholic Church and Christianity in general”.

“Time to really show up and defend our church and our faith. The most powerful way is through prayer,” he said on Facebook.

“Stand united in prayer, pray for them, pray for their conversion and stand in defending our faith.”

LGBTIQ activist Sally Rugg shared a photo of the religious protest on Twitter “for allies to see”.

“As LGBT people arrived for a dance, they were met with a large protest against our existence, under the title of ‘Christian Lives Matter’,” Rugg tweeted.

“I don’t want to amplify this group’s message. But I do want people to see this, because this is LGBTQ people’s constant lived experience.


“We live our lives with constant reminders that many people believe we don’t or shouldn’t exist.”


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A post shared by Kim Boz (@kimbozzadale)

Catholic Archbishop slams ‘insensitive’ ad featuring church

Last week, the city council pulled the ad after Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher criticised the “insensitive” use of the church.

“The Cathedral Forecourt is council land and not church property. [The] decision about the content of the concert and its advertising is unfortunately not ours to make,” Archbishop Fisher said.

“We have asked City of Sydney to remove the Cathedral image from the advertising.

“It is frustrating and upsetting that St Mary’s Cathedral, the mother church of Australia, has been used so provocatively to promote this event and such little sensitivity shown to people of faith.”

A City of Sydney spokesperson said the council had ordered the removal of the ad to “avoid any confusion”.

“In the lead-up and throughout the staging of [the events], the City consulted and liaised closely with St Mary’s Cathedral representatives,” they explained.

catholic archbishop sydney anthony fisher heaps gay concert city of sydney

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore also said Sydney was a place that valued diversity and inclusion.

“There is no place for hate, intolerance or the sowing of division,” she said.

“As we seek to recover from [the pandemic], we will continue to host inclusive, accessible and safe events.”

Earlier this week, organisers Heaps Gay posted footage of the concert’s finale to Instagram.

“Thankyou to @cityofsydney & @sydney_festival for providing space for queer arts to be seen and heard,” they wrote.


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A post shared by Heaps Gay (@heapsgay)

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  1. Peter Turner
    23 February 2021

    As a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic Christian Brother I would suggest that the Catholic Church concentrated on cleaning up it’s own act before it comments on LGTBQI+ issues. Merely having St Marys in the background was in no way offensive. The Catholic church does NOT own the forecourt so the ad should have not been pulled.

    • Angus Constable-Townsend
      23 February 2021

      I couldn’t agree with you more !

    4 March 2021

    they are probably just trying to ensure the privacy of any random pedophile priests who may wander in and out of the church in front of the cameras

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