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Car Sticker Says Only Gay Right is the "Right to Die"

A bumper sticker posted by an Australian gun lobbyist has caused outrage in a rural community and opened the debate between gay rights and free speech.

In a 77-page decision, the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal of Queensland found Ron Owen guilty of inciting hatred against homosexuals after his car sticker was spotted while his car was parked outside the Cooloola Shire Council officers in Gympie, a small rural town north of Brisbane. The sticker reads: "Gay Rights? Under God's law the only rights gays have is the right to die." It also includes a reference to a biblical passage (Leviticus 20:13) that reads: "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them."

Owen, a former president of the National Firearm Owners of Australia, was also chastised on Monday for comments he made in the ensuing public outcry. He is also a publisher of an ultra-right-wing, pro-militia magazine and former local councilor.

The gun lobbyist was taken to the tribunal by several local lesbians who claimed they had been offended by the sticker, although only one of them has seen the actual bumper sticker. They were awarded a total of A$12,500 (roughly US$10,300) in damages.

Tribunal member Darryl Rangiah also ordered Owen to publish a written apology for inciting hatred and causing offense to the homosexual community of Gympie.

Rangiah acknowledged Owen's right to free speech, but said he had gone too far with the bumper sticker and in ensuing comments Owen made during a television interview, as well as in subsequent council meetings and in a letter posted on his website.

(Source: The Australian)

Comments

Gayzha said…
Thanks for posting this! Indeed, gay rights are now well encrusted in the justice system here in Oz, and anyone found guilty of any acts of homophobia or discrimination could face legal actions or penalties.

So when would we hear or read articles like this in the Philippines... ??? I am not very satisfied with what happened to that gay guy in Cebu and what they gave as penalties to the those medical students or doctors - It should have been more reflective of the current laws (if there are)for individual's rights and protection of dignity, not only of the gay guys but for every Filipinos.

As of today, HOMOPHOBIC acts are still very rampant in the Philippines as shown by people's comments in the internet against gay guys ... please read this ->
http://jaynir.wordpress.com/2008/09/24/harsh-green-mean-pinoys/

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