Fred Nile has introduced a Private Members Bill in the NSW Legislative Council to repeal the Anti-Discrimination (Homosexual Vilification) Amendment Act 1993, that made homosexual vilification unlawful.
This follows the Administrative Decisions Tribunal’s finding that John Laws, Steve Price and Radio 2UE had unlawfully vilified homosexuals in contravention of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) when they made comments in relation to the appearance of a gay couple on the Channel 9 television program, The Block, in June 2003. The case was brought by Mr Gary Burns, who is represented by PIAC. The ADT ordered Laws, Price and 2UE to make public apologies and pay legal costs.
Alexis Goodstone, Senior Solicitor at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) Senior Solicitor, said:
Fred Nile’s backward move comes just as Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras is about to kick off. It seems that every year around this time, Mr Nile looks for some way to chip away at the hard-fought gains that have been achieved by the gay and lesbian community, this time it is the legal protection against vilification on the ground of homosexuality.
At least we can all be proud that Mr Nile’s Bill has no chance of getting up, a sign that our Parliament recognises that vilification (on the ground of homosexuality, or race) is contrary to acceptable standards of behaviour in our community.
There is a strong link between homosexual vilification and violence against gays and lesbians, which is at its highest in the Mardi Gras period. This confirms the need for laws that regulate public acts that incite hatred towards, contempt for, or severe ridicule of people because of their sexuality.
MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,
Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169