Organizers behind a “straight lives matter” rally on Saturday to promote “white heteronormativity” claim 30 people attended, but police put the number at fewer than 15.

The rally is part of a campaign against same-sex marriage as Australians decide in a government survey whether such unions should be legalized in Australia. Participation in the postal survey is non-compulsory and the results are non binding.

Saturday's event, which was organized by the far-right Party for Freedom, took place in Darlinghurst, one of Sydney's largest and most widely recognized LGBT villages, near a memorial dedicated to the LGBT victims of the Holocaust. The group's leader, Nick Folkes, told that threats of violence kept supporters away.

“We don't have a history on our side of politics being very vocal,” Folkes said. “The left wing are very vocal. There's a big fear of violence among our supporters, which I think is why we were so poorly supported today.”

“We were definitely worried about left wing people attacking us. People didn't turn up because of possible violence. … There has been violence coming from the 'no' side, but overall the intimidation, name calling, violence – it has all come from the 'yes' camp.”

“There were definitely 30,” Folkes claimed. “People didn't stand there [in front of the stage] because we'd block the cameras.”

Roughly 50 people attended a nearby counter protest.

In a Facebook post, Folkes, whose party mostly protests Muslim immigration, explained how immigration and same-sex marriage were connected.

“The same people who support the multi-sexual agenda of redefining marriage support third world immigration, global warming and restrictions on freedom of speech,” he wrote.