Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Independent gay activist GARY BURNS has lodged a complaint with NSW Police Commissioner ANDREW SCIPIONE over the advertising of illegal drugs in a Sydney gay magazine.
SX News, the weekly gay magazine published by the Evolution Publishing group, is openly advertising the sale of amyl nitrate (aka ‘poppers’).
Advertisements for the ‘Rush Popper Shop’ appear in the magazine, featuring prominent links to the URL where brands of amyl nitrate such as Rush, Ram, Colt and Jungle Juice are sold. 
Amyl nitrate is used medically for certain heart conditions, but is illegal in NSW without a doctor’s prescription.
In some sections of the gay community, amyl nitrate is used recreationally during sexual intercourse, for its side effect of relaxing anal sphincter muscles. 
The drug is on the Poisons List and is illegal in NSW under Section 16 of Poisons and Therapeutic Drugs Act, which makes it an offence to possess a prescribed restricted substance without a lawful excuse.
Harmful side effects of amyl nitrate can include headaches, heart attacks, brain damage and death. 
Gary Burns said he had lodged the complaint out of concern for his community.
“Young gay men pick up this magazine for free from cafes, bars, pubs and nightclubs all over Sydney,” he said.
“They may not be aware of the possibility of serious side effects from amyl, and my fear is that some of them could be encouraged to buy these dangerous products.
“That is of course the aim of advertising – to get people to buy the product.
“This product should not be advertised anywhere. It can kill you. And the thing about being dead is that you don’t suddenly wake up and ask, ‘What’s for dinner, Mum?’ It’s forever.”
Mr Burns alleged that the advertising of illegal drugs in SX News was part of a wider drug culture at Evolution Publishing.
The group’s publisher, PETER WALTON, is currently facing serious drug charges for the possession of crystal meth and GHB.
Walton will appear at Sydney’s Downing Centre Criminal Court on Tuesday, June 28 to face the charges.
Mr Burns called on advertisers to withdraw their support from the magazine in light of the magazine’s promotion of drug culture.
“In the latest issue of SX we see organisations like Audi, Hunter Holden, the City of Sydney, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Swans supporting the magazine.
“I ask these organisations: Do you really want to be involved with a publication where the publisher is facing serious drug charges and possibly jail time, and where the magazine itself is advertising illicit substances that can kill you?
“Next, they’ll be advertising eccies to sprinkle on your Weeties in the morning instead of sugar,” Mr Burns concluded.
Media enquiries:
Gary Burns
Further information: Rush Popper Shop advertisement appears on page 44 of current issue (SX # 545, June 20) and in all back issues this year. 
Evolution Publisher Peter Walton is due to appear at Downing Centre Criminal Court 9.30am Tuesday, June 28. 



Sydney equal rights campaigner GARY BURNS has issued a warning over a Hitler-style rant by Christian Democrats spokesperson PETER MADDEN, who has declared war on the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Mr Burns is concerned that a video posted by Madden, a spokesperson for NSW MP the REV FRED NILE, could inciite violence against homosexuals at this year’s Mardi Gras.

In the anti-Mardi Gras clip, posted on YouTube, Madden declares: “We must realize that we are at war. There is a spiritual battle raging around us, that we will lose unless we mobilise and do something about it.”

In a six minute rant, Madden asks questions such as: “Are you happy that the gay Mardi Gras will draw hundreds of thousands of drunken youth to Sydney’s streets to incite in them all manner of lust and filth?

“Do you want youth aged from 13, 14, 15, 16 engaging in sexual filth?

“Are you happy that the Greens, a Paganistic, anti-Christian front for the homosexual lobby, will hold the balance of power in the Senate, over the whole nation?”

In clip, which features stylized military graphics, Madden calls on supporters to rally in Martin Place on Mardi Gras Parade night (Saturday, March 5) to “raise up and shut down he gate” on the “depraved” Mardi Gras – a cause of significant concern, according to Mr Burns.

“The video crosses the line of reasonableness because it states that homosexuality is a depravity and dangerous to everyday people,” said Burns.

“A pernicious rant like this could draw dangerous individuals, such as Swastika-wearing Hitler supporters intent on wreaking havoc on the parade and its participants and viewers. I fear this kind of rant could leave to violence.

“I am therefore seeking legal advice as to whether this YouTube clip is unlawful and breaches the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 and will lodge a complaint with the President of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board (ADB).”

Burns said the complain would be against Mr Madden but would co-join Christian Democrat leader Fred Nile, who he alleged was “aiding and abetting homosexual vilification”.

Burns, who strongly rejected Madden’s claim that gay people posed a risk to children, also called on the NSW Police to intercede.

“I am calling for this group to be denied a permit by the NSW constabulary to gather in a public place on Mardi Gras night, because this could impinge on the safety of Mardi Gras revelers and the homosexual community of Sydney,” he concluded.