The owner of a café in Tamworth that has been openly campaigning for a “Yes” vote on marriage equality has told the ABC that the rainbow flags flying on the shopfront has attracted violence and vitriol from “No” voters.
Kristy Sollars said that a vehement “No” campaigner parked in front of the cafe with a trailer emblazoned with anti-marriage equality propaganda. When he was asked to please not do that, Sollars says he became violent:
He punched one of my staff in the chest and pushed her to the ground.
The ABC also interviewed the “No” campaigner in question, a bloke called Bob McDonald. He says that while there was an altercation out the front of Sollars’ cafe, he wasn’t the one bringing the argy-bargy.
One of the [cafe] staff members had run across the road and just started ripping our posters off the van. As she was reaching up to grab my posters I’ve more or less pushed my way in front of her to stop her from ripping off my posters and that’s when she fell to the ground.
Sollers says she is passionate about supporting a vote for marriage equality.
I have someone very close to my heart and friends who are gay and I see the struggle personally. We fly our same-sex marriage flag just to try and show some support.
Another member of staff told the ABC that the shoving incident was not the first time the cafe had experienced negative attention for their rainbow decor, saying that a woman had come in and taken the time to tear up a Vote Yes pamphlet in order to slide it across the counter:
[The woman] then placed [the torn up paper] on the till and slid it towards me and said ‘that is my contribution’. She just had the most awful scowl on her face, I think because I didn’t acknowledge [her actions]. And it shouldn’t be acknowledged because it is just so petty.
Petty, violent, disrespectful and unpleasant: the postal vote debate continues apace.