A homosexual vilification complaint against John Laws, Steve Price and Radio 2UE will be heard in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal tomorrow, Tuesday 2 March.
The complaint was lodged by Gary Burns, a Sydney gay man, after comments were made on Radio 2UE by Laws and Price. Mr Burns is represented by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
The comments by Laws and Price were made in relation to the appearance of a gay couple on the Channel 9 television program, The Block.
Burns alleges the comments incited hatred towards, serious contempt for, and severe ridicule of homosexuals on the ground of their homosexuality, in contravention of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) and is seeking financial compensation and a public apology, on air and in writing.
Laws and Price’s comments demonstrated prejudice and were stereotyped. They suggest that homosexuals are not full and equal members of the Australian community and should be treated differently. All Australians, no matter their sexual preference, should be entitled to be treated with respect. These comments incite hatred rather than promote respect.
Alexis Goodstone, Senior Solicitor, PIAC, said:
It is abhorrent that Laws and Price should use their positions of power to promote prejudice against homosexuals. We took on Mr Burns’ case because we believe it is in the public interest that anti-vilification laws be utilised to condemn behaviour which incites hatred, ridicule or contempt on the basis of sexuality. They need to be reminded of the consequences of their actions.
MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,
Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169