GARY BURNS CALLS ON GAY COMMUNITY TO REFORM ITSELF AFTER NEW DRUG SCANDAL

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

City Voice Publisher Peter Walton

Well-known Sydney gay activist GARY BURNS has called on the the gay community to reform itself as the community is rocked by yet another high-profile drug scandal.
PETER WALTON, the publisher of all seven titles owned by Evolution Publishing – Australia’s largest gay and lesbian publishing house – has been charged with possession of illicit drugs and is due to appear in court on June 28.
Walton, the publisher of SX News (Sydney), City Voice (Sydney), MCV (Melbourne), Blaze(Adelaide), Queensland PrideAXN (the national gay men’s magazine) and Cherrie (the national lesbian magazine) will appear at Sydney’s Downing Centre Criminal Court at 9.30am on Tuesday, June 28 after allegedly being caught in possession of 3.5 grams of crystal meth and an undisclosed quantity of GHB.
The arrest of Walton, who lives in the Harry Seidler-designed Horizon Building (aka Sydney’s ‘tower of power’), marks the latest in a long tine of gay community drug scandals, said Mr Burns.
“Earlier this year we had the unsavoury prospect of ACON*, our self-proclaimed gay and lesbian health and wellbeing organisation, putting out a ‘how to take drugs’ guide, which drew national and international negative publicity for our community.,” he said.
“Every year we have a host of Mardi Gras drug busts, with huge quantities of crystal meth, GHB, ecstasy, cocaine and all sorts of other drugs seized” he added.
“Evolution Publishing itself rose from the ashes of Satellite Media in 2005, which was the brainchild of gay media tycoon GREG FISHER, who’s cooling his heels in jail on drug charges until 2012.”
Mr Burns said he was tired of his community being associated with illegal drugs and called on the collective community to clean up its act.
“Frankly, I’m sick to death of it and I’m embarrassed,” he said.
“All this rampant drug-taking by Gay Inc. gives a very bad example for young gays and lesbians, who understandably form the impression that illegal drugs are an essential part of being gay,” he said.
“We as a community need to put the crystal pipe down, flush the eccies down the toilet, throw the syringes away and take a good hard look at ourselves.
“Not only for our own good but for the good of the next generation.”
Burns added that he had heard rumours for years about rampant drug-taking at Evolution Publishing, and called on advertisers – including the NSW Government – to stop propping it up.
“The biggest single advertiser in Evolution Publishing is ACON, which is funded almost entirely by the NSW Government,” said Mr Burns.
“This means NSW taxpayers are propping these dance bunny drug takers up.
“I ask the taxpayers of NSW: is this how you want your hard-earned taxes to be spent?
“No, I didn’t think so.”
ENDS
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* ACON was formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW. 
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