The use of force to physically obstruct members of the public attending an information seminar on the so-called Safe Schools program in Melbourne last night is the latest example of intolerant bullying by rainbow political activists.

I am concerned by the inability of Victoria Police to provide safe access and freedom of movement to members of the public on the streets of Melbourne.

I understand the resourcing constraints the police face but if public safety can’t be guaranteed, it will not be possible to have free speech anymore.

Around 70 ticket holders were unable to gain access to the venue, Arrow on Swanston in Melbourne’s inner west after LGBTIQ political activists locked arms.

However, more than 100 others managed to get in and the event proceeded peacefully until protestors again threatened to block the exits.

The ACL has no problem with peaceful protest. We live in a democracy and we too support freedom of speech and freedom of expression. But physical force and intimidation should never be part of protest in a civil society.

The intolerance of those leading the LGBTI political movement is fast-becoming one of the biggest threats to basic freedoms Australians have taken for granted for 200 years.

Quite frankly, we are tired of the threats and intimidation. By all means protest and engage our arguments in a civil manner. But the bullying must stop.

ACL is running a national seminar series about the so-called Safe Schools program, which is to be compulsory in Victoria, Western Australia and the ACT. NSW and Tasmania have scrapped the program with other states yet to decide.

Leading paediatrician from the University of Western Sydney, Professor John Whitehall and ACL’s director of research, Dr Elisabeth Taylor, are the seminar presenters.

ACL notified Victoria Police last week when social media chatter indicated a protest was likely. ACL was again forced to hire security guards.

Activists sought to intimidate the venue in the same way they targeted the Mercure Airport Hotel in Sydney last year when ACL and other groups sought to hold a meeting to discuss the Turnbull Government’s planned plebiscite on redefining marriage.

Last night’s event was a great success despite the attempt to sabotage it. ACL’s Victorian director Dan Flynn and his team of volunteers did a great job.

But unless civility can be returned to the public discourse, it will not be possible to have a discussion about contestable public policy.

This is all the more reason why a people’s vote is needed on redefining marriage.

“Safe Schools” and redefining marriage march under the same rainbow political banner.

If marriage is to be de-gendered, as sure as night follows day, children will be taught that their gender is fluid.

All Australians should be allowed a say about this but it is clear that free discussion is not on the agenda of the leaders of the rainbow political movement.