A self-proclaimed “out loud and proud” law firm based in Sydney’s Newtown has appeared in the High Court of Australia on behalf of Garry Burns.
Mr Burns appealed to the HCA following a determination in 2016 that despite being a victim of homophobic vilification, he had no standing to pursue the matter in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal because the alleged perpetrators were not residents of New South Wales.
The gay rights activist was attempting to sue political aspirant and Katter Party of Australia candidate Tess Corbett, who made comments in the Hamilton Spectator in 2013. Ms Corbett told the publication that she did not want “gays, lesbians or paedophiles working in my kindergarten” and associated homosexuals with paedophiles.
“Paedophiles will be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians and get rights,” Ms Corbett was quoted as saying.
When Queensland’s Senate hopeful Bernard Gaynor later endorsed Ms Corbett’s statements, he was suspended him from the Katter Party Australia.
In January last year the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Ms Corbett’s comments had vilified homosexual people. She was ordered by the tribunal to place a public apology in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Mr Burns sought a court-imposed fine against the former candidate for the federal seat of Wannon in western Victoria when she failed to publish an apology.
On appeal, the Supreme Court of NSW said that the tribunal did not have the jurisdiction to deal with either Ms Corbett or Mr Gaynor. Mr Burns subsequently took the matter to the HCA.
Dowson Turco partner Nicholas Stewart (pictured) offered to represent Mr Burns pro bono for the costs aspect of his HCA appearance.
“This is a very technical matter and we are grateful for Garry’s instructions to act pro bono,” Mr Stewart said.
“Without Garry, the LGBTI community would be behind the times and the fact that his matter is before the highest court in our country is testament to his drive for justice for our community.”
The lawyers appeared before the court last week. [Outcome here].
Sonja Freeman, one of the lawyers at Dowson Turco, said that the firm had celebrated recent legal milestones for LGBTI rights, such as marriage equality and LGBTI rights in the Family Court. She noted that efforts to help Mr Burns’ vilification case were just as important.
“Garry Burns is a brave and unrelenting advocate of the Australian LGBTI community. He has fought tirelessly to prevent homophobic discrimination and to bring about a safer environment for the LGBTI community,” Ms Freeman said.
“We want to assist Garry to ensure that tribunals in NSW can assist victims of discrimination and vilification even when perpetrators are located interstate,” she said.
Far-right campaigner Bernard Gaynor has lost his bid to overturn his dismissal from the Australian defence force.
Gaynor won a case against the ADF in 2015, claiming that sacking him in 2013 for publicly criticising policies aimed at reducing discrimination towards women and homosexuals had breached his right to free speech.
During a complex hearing at the high court in Brisbane on Friday, justices Anthony Keane and James Edelman were told the appeal against the chief of defence force’s decision hinged, in part, on military regulations about the suitability of officers to serve.
Those included following orders and official ADF policy, which prohibits its members from making political statements.
Gaynor had argued he was not in uniform, on base or assignment when he made the comments and as a reservist had a different status to a regular officer.
The high court justices, however, said that sufficient grounds to establish special leave to appeal the federal court ruling had not been made out and dismissed the appeal.
Gaynor had been sacked after saying he did not want gay people teaching his children, and engaged in a public stoush with high-profile transgender army officer Cate McGregor.
“The supposedly apolitical ADF is now marching to the beat of a very political tune, drummed up by those who demand gay marriage and take pleasure in ridiculing Christianity,” Gaynor said in a statement in 2015.
Gaynor was also dumped as a Queensland Senate candidate for Katter’s Australia party over his comments, and was recently affiliated with the anti-Islam Australian Liberty Alliance party.
BERNARD GAYNOR : “ SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS ABOUT 2 MEN WALLOWING IN THEIR OWN EXCREMENT, THAT’S NOT SEX “
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 November 2016
NSW Anti-Discrimination Campaigner and public interest litigant Garry Burns has lodged a number of complaint’s under the NSW Anti-Vilification Provisions of the ADA 1977 ( NSW ) against QLD resident Bernard Gaynor over a number of statement’s he published on the internet that Mr Burns alleged were harmful to homosexual Australians.
“ SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS ABOUT 2 MEN WALLOWING IN THEIR OWN EXCREMENT, THAT’S NOT SEX ”, RETWEETED Mr Gaynor.
“ How could that statement concern serious questions on enrichment toward the Great Conversation in the following ideas claimed by Mr Gaynor as quoted in one of his recent Defence’s filed. ( sic )
a. Morality ;
b. Public policy on political freedom ;
c. Religious freedom ;
d. The implied constitutional freedom of political opinion ;
e. The Public interest ;
f. Threads posed to those freedoms and ideas ;
g. Open and frank participation in the Great Conversations that these issues pertain to.
His above statement goes a step further because it clearly vilifies male homosexuals based on their homosexuality , “ said Mr Burns.
The NSW Supreme Court of Appeal will hear an Application lodged by Mr Gaynor on Wednesday 30 November and and Thursday the 1 December 2016 at 10am challenging jurisdiction and constitution.
The court will determine and hear the proceeding involving the matter of an Applicant and Respondent living in different states in relation to the ADA 1977 ( NSW ).
“ Basically what Mr Gaynor is legislating for is a right to sit on his computer somewhere in Queensland and publish material on his website / Facebook pernicious to homosexual Australians claiming that I and others who share my characteristic ( homosexuals ) don’t have jurisdiction to lodge a homosexuality vilification complaint against him under any state or territory discrimination or equal opportunity provision because the public act according to Mr Gaynor occurred in QLD and not NSW.
Regarding the public act, the Dow Jones decision states, regarding the internet, an act occurs where the content is downloaded.
The internet crosses all state and territory boundaries and any jurisdictional argument put forward by Mr Gaynor in his application must fail.
This case for me involves a very important question of law to be explored and I will fight for it “ said Mr Burns.
Parties like Australian Sex Party/Marijuana (HEMP) Party, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, and even the Animal Justice Party polled better than his now potentially defunct Australian Liberty Alliance Party.
Is this the end of GayNor’s gay hating, Anti Islam, god fearing party??
As Clive Palmer would say, goodbye GayNor goodbye…