An anti-gay marriage website is back up after being taken down in what its backers described as an "unprecedented" attack.

Conservative lobby group Family First launched the protectmarriage site yesterday, only to have it taken down within hours by large scale denial of service (DOS) attacks.

By 5pm yesterday the website domain had been completely removed. It was back up after 1pm this afternoon.

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said the attack was an attempt to shut down debate on the marriage equality bill put forward by Labour MP Louisa Wall.


"It is disappointing that some opponents in the marriage debate are unwilling to have robust debate and are resorting to desperate - but failed - attempts to shut us down."

The web hosting company employed by Family First believed the attack was of an "unprecedented" scale for a New Zealand website, Mr McCoskrie said.

However, troubles with the protectmarriage site were not confined to online attacks.

US band Train is vowing to get one of their songs removed from the website, after a YouTube link to the song "Marry Me" was placed on it without their knowledge.

Train was asked yesterday by a New Zealand tweeter, @Mikey_J_S, why their music video appeared on the website.

Train responded: "Didn't know. Getting it off asap. Tnx 4 tip''.

Mr McCoskrie said he had not yet heard from Train, and the song remained on the website.

"We're not going to do anything based on Twitter, but if they contact us and ask us to remove, we will certainly respect their wishes."

Initial indications are that the bill has the numbers to pass.

Of the 76 of Parliament's 122 MPs who responded to a New Zealand Herald surveyed last week, a clear majority of 43 were in support of the bill or leaning towards backing it.

Labour leader David Shearer and Prime Minister John Key said they would vote in favour the bill.

- Herald Online