Cobargo post office targeted by homophobic graffiti following same sex marriage postal vote outcome

Following the celebrations of the same sex marriage postal vote on Wednesday, the Cobargo post office has been targeted with homophobic graffiti.

On Monday morning, licencees David Wilson and Kyle Moser woke to find the words “say no to filthy homo” sprayed in red across the front of their business.

Despite polls being closed and votes already counted, Mr Wilson believed the graffiti was carried out by a disgruntled No campaigner. 

“It’s the same ‘say no’ message that we heard a lot during the debate and I think there has been a religious backlash following the result.” he said. 

“The real joke is that they interpret their religious freedom as the right to do something like this to us, it’s a weird state we’ve fallen into.”

Other graffiti on power poles and road signs at the northern entrance of Cobargo have led Mr Wilson and other community members to believe the culprit drove in on the Princes Highway from the north and directly targeted the post office. 

“There’s no graffiti any further south than the post office and we are the only business with graffiti,” he said.

“There has been a lot of publicity on us recently, so they would have known exactly who and where we are.”

The community pulled together quickly to remove the spray painted message, scrubbing it off with water and paint thinner just hours after the post office opened on Monday morning. 

“Someone put a blanket up to cover it at first, then we had about six people come down and help us to get rid of it,” Mr Wilson said. 

“I really doubt this is someone local to our community and I would hate to think that it was.”

Over the weekend a community working bee to make Christmas decorations for the town was held in Cobargo. The newly painted Christmas tree cutouts now stand in the graffiti’s place.

“It’s our way of showing this person that we don’t tolerate that in our community, we’re looking forward to the future,” Mr Wilson said. 

Mr Wilson posted a photo of the graffiti to his personal Facebook page and the Cobargo/Bermagui Noticeboard Facebook page, asking for the community’s response. 

By the end of the morning, 64 people had reacted to the post on his personal page, which also drew 53 comments and was shared by 39 people. 

There were over 70 reactions and 80 comments on the post shared to the Cobargo/Bermagui Noticeboard page, offering support to the couple and condemning the graffiti, including some who voted against changing the definition of marriage in the postal vote. 

“Well...voting Yes was not my personal choice but I think this act of vandalism is poor to say the least. It's not achieving anything...so let's just get on with our lives, in harmony and TOGETHER,” one comment read. 

Another responded in agreement.

“Same here... Democracy... VOTE.... We lost... Be gracious in defeat as in Sport.”

Mr Wilson will be looking over the security footage from the post office to see if the culprit can be identified.

The incident has been reported to police, who have notified Roads and Maritime and Bega Valley Shire Council regarding the vandalised road signs and power poles. 

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