Business causes stir, pushes for no on same sex marriage vote
ONE local business man has weighed in on the same sex marriage debate by expressing his views via sandwich board.
Cooloola Sands, a real estate agency in Cooloola Cove, near Gympie Queensland is urging the community to vote no to same sex marriage.
A sign, displaying their business moniker reads "Please vote no to same sex marriage."
Rod Robertson, the Cooloola Sands real estate agency principal, has defended his right for free speech, saying his actions have been met with "Mostly positive feedback."
Mr Robertson told The Gympie Times the sandwich board was used to convey many messages, sometimes just a simple thought of the day.
However, he did not anticipate the reaction his latest announcement would generate.
"I don't throw stones at them for being on the yes side," Mr Robertson said.
"I would certainly respect their opinion.
"I have had about half a dozen people come in and shake my hand.
"I have had about three phone calls from people, one of which was particularly nasty.
"Mine is not the only opinion, but neither is theirs," he said.
The move has met with mixed reactions on social media.
Adriana Harries said "Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
"There is plenty out there to support otherwise."
Mandy Santos agreed, but hinted the message could have been delivered differently. "Everyone is entitled to their opinion," she said via Facebook.
"But to put it out there at your business, maybe not a smart thing to do,"
Ang Graham said the behaviour was "disgusting," while Anna Richardson had a more practical take. "I feel like someone maybe messed with their sign," she said.
"Regardless of how they feel privately, I don't think any business would do that, it's going to drive people away.
"Maybe it was a longer message that said something else and there was enough letters for someone to change it to this."
The issue of same sex marriage has sparked robust debate in the Gympie region.
Local columnist Bruce Devereaux was hard hitting in his views last week, telling The Gympie Times voting yes to same sex marriage should be no brain-er.
"Hypocrisy is alive and well, it seems.
"Why are we in this country, allowing any religious group to dictate our laws.
"Especially when in the same breath people are worried about Sharia Law?
Gympie business Michael Torrens supported much of what Mr Devereaux had to say.
"It's about people in same sex relationships having the same rights in a marriage," Mr Torrens said.