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Clash planned at anti-gay marriage rally tonight

An anti-gay marriage rally in Perth is set to be gate-crashed by LGBT rights campaigners tonight
Anti-gay marriage proponent, former tennis world champion and evangelical Christian pastor Margaret Court

An anti-gay marriage rally planned by the Australia Family Association in Perth tonight is set to be challenged by up to 100 students standing up for gay rights.

The organiser of the counter-rally Sam Cavallaro told The West Australian:

'We want to stand up for our rights and against homophobia. We need to show [Margaret] Court and [Prime Minister Julia] Gillard that that are isolated in their views and put pressure on the government to change the law.'

The rally is being held at former tennis player Margaret Court's Victory Life Centre, a church where she is pastor. On a blog on the church's website in February, Court said:

'I believe that a person’s sexuality is a choice. In the Bible it said that homosexuality is among sins that are works of the flesh. It is not something you are born with. My concern is that we are advocating to young people that it is OK to have these feelings.'

These views caused fellow tennis legend Martina Navratilova to comment that to believe homosexuality is a choice, Court must have felt attracted to women and decided not to act on those impulses.

Court views caused a floury of controversy at the Australian Open tennis competition earlier this year when LGBT rights campaigners called for a tennis court named in her honour to be renamed.

For tonight's counter-rally, LGBT rights campaigners will meet at Perth's Glendalough train station at 5.30pm this afternoon (Tuesday 24 April) and march from there to the Victory Life Centre as gay-marriage opponents arrive at the church.

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