Students speak out over anti same-sex campaign fallout
THE national reaction to the anti-same sex marriage ad funded by a Toowoomba parish has raised concerns Toowoomba's image as a conservative town has been reinforced throughout the country.
The Chronicle readers have come forward with stories about a lack of acceptance for members of the LGBTI community.
University of Southern Queensland art students spoke out about their experience of Toowoomba, and whether they thought it was a narrow-minded community.
"I moved here from Gladstone three years ago.
"I'm in a band, Average Art Club, and I've seen a lot of underground movement in Toowoomba with different groups, such as the arts, and I think these groups are slowly coming out into the open.
"Toowoomba has come a long way.
"I do know two lesbians who got kicked out of a Toowoomba club for kissing."
"I lived in Beaudesert for a long time and Toowoomba compared to there is much more accepting.
"The ad was appalling.
"I would consider it discrimination, not freedom of speech.
"In my opinion limiting other people's rights is not a valid opinion.
"I don't think everyone realises the doctor is from Toowoomba.
"I didn't when I saw it so it doesn't necessarily have a direct link to Toowoomba.
"But if you're a member of the Toowoomba community and you saw the ad and were appalled - it affects you."
Is Toowoomba becoming a more accepting community?
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"I'm from Rosewood which has very small-town country beliefs.
"It's very black and white and gay people weren't accepted at all.
"I was raised by a single parent and was taught to have relaxed views.
"I think Toowoomba is quite accepting and doesn't stereotype people."
"I've lived in Toowoomba since I was in grade six.
"I think it's pretty conservative.
"I think a lot people are scared to speak out and think if they ignore these issues they'll go away.
"I have gay friends who haven't said anything or come out until after school."