ACON, the self-proclaimed peak GLBT* organisation in NSW, has threatened to sue prominent gay activist GARY BURNS.
In a phone conversation with Burns this afternoon, ACON CEO NICOLAS PARKHILL told Burns that if he continued to criticise the organisation, ACON would initiate legal proceedings.
Speaking to Burns, who is famous for a string of anti-homosexual vilification court cases, Parkhill said: “If you continue the way you‟re going, we‟ll call the lawyers in.
“You‟re going to have to stop, otherwise there‟ll be consequences,” he said.
Parkhill‟s threats come in the wake of yesterday‟s media release by Burns outing ACON employees as members of an anti-Gary Burns Facebook group, and Burns‟ media release last week posing questions about ACON and notorious paedophile DENNIS FERGUSON.
The Facebook group „Gary Burns does not speak for me‟ – which featured disparaging comments about Burns and picture of his face with a giant red cross through it – was removed last night.
ACON has yet to address community reports about links to convicted paedophile Ferguson, who has perpetrated numerous assaults on children and women, most notoriously kidnapping three children aged six, seven and eight, raping them for days on end.
Last week, Burns called on NSW Health to investigate whether ACON has spent taxpayers‟ money on the convicted paedophile after ACON refused to comment on reports that Ferguson attended a recent health and wellbeing workshop at its premises.
“I‟m informed that Ferguson was allowed to take part despite objections by other participants, who pointed out that [Ferguson] has nothing to do with the GLBT community,” said Burns.
Parkhill countered: “Ensuring the confidentiality of ACON clients is fundamental to the effectiveness of our client-based services. We take this responsibility very seriously … we are not able to reveal those details.”
In February, Ferguson was filmed by a Channel Ten news crew outside ACON‟s premises during the 2010 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, with the footage screened on Ten News. Parkhill said Ferguson had simply been “walking past”.
Today, Burns said he welcomed any legal action by ACON.
“It would be a good thing because it would open up ACON to scrutiny like never before,” he said.
“This organisation needs scrutiny because I think it‟s doing our community a disservice.”
Burns said his only fear about ACON‟s threatened legal action is that taxpayers and gay community members would have to foot the bill.
“ACON is funded by the NSW Government and donations from GLBT community members,” said Burns. “I‟d prefer to see that money spent on what it‟s meant for: helping our community, especially HIV-positive people. But apart from that I welcome any legal action because it will become a media circus and hold ACON up to public scrutiny. Bring it on.”
Gary Burns – 0407 910 309
Nicolas Parkhill – 0417 474 219
* GLBT = gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans
- Anti-LGBT Activist Tries To Lay Claim To Rainbow Symbol (lezgetreal.com)
- Why Is Gary Burns The Most Hated Gay Activist In Australia? (queerty.com)