Anti gay marriage website shut down

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 17:54 30/07/2012

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A website dedicated to opposing gay marriage has been removed from the internet the day it was launched after it was the target of one of the "largest unprecedented attacks" on a website in New Zealand.

The "Protect Marriage" website, launched today by Family First, crashed in a matter of hours as a result of a "large-scale denial of service attack" according to the site's webhost.

It was back up and running at 1pm, but had been removed completely by the webhosting company later this afternoon, to "protect its own servers".

"Due to large scale Denial of Service attacks against this domain it has been decided to ensure the stability and security of our servers and network, this account has been removed," said a message from 24/7 Hosting.

Launched to oppose MP Louisa Wall's same-sex marriage bill drawn recently from the ballot, Family First director Bob McCroskrie said the site was apparently the target of "the largest unprecedented attack on a website in New Zealand history".

McCroskrie said he had expected "a good amount of debate" on the issue, but the attack was "obviously a desperate attempt" at shutting down one side of the argument.

He said Family First were now working with an international webhosting company with advanced security and the website would be live again by tomorrow.

In another setback for the Family First campaign, US band Train has also reportedly requested the website cease using their song "Marry Me".

Train caught wind their song was being used by Family First after a Twitter user alerted the band their song was being used on an "anti gay marriage website".

A user named @Mikey_J_S6 tweeted the band last night saying: "Why does your music video appear on a homophobic lobby group's website?". Train responded saying "Didn't know. Getting it off asap. Tnx 4 tip".

McCroskrie said they had not yet heard from Train, but if they were asked to take the song down they would.

"We're not going to go by some post on Twitter, but if the band contact us then we will certainly take it down."

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