Homosexual vilification: Burns v Laws, Price and 2UE

PIAC represented Mr Gary Burns in a homosexual vilification complaint against John Laws, Steve Price and Radio Station 2UE for comments made about a gay couple who appeared on the Channel 9 television show, The Block.

Mr Burns’ complaint was that comments made by John Laws and Steve Price on 2UE about the gay couple incited hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of homosexuals, and thus amounted to unlawful homosexual vilification. Price stated, amongst other things, that he didn’t want to have to explain to his children what a gay couple was, and that Channel 9 shouldn’t put a gay couple on TV at 6:30pm at night.

In 2004, the Administrative Decisions Tribunal upheld Mr Burns’ complaint and found that both Mr Price and Mr Laws’ comments amounted to homosexual vilification.

Radio 2UE, Laws and Price originally appealed this decision but the case was settled in 2008 with Mr Price and 2UE publicly apologising for any hurt that their comments may have caused gay men.

Mr Burns was represented in the ADT and the ADT Appeal Panel by PIAC and Chris Ronalds SC of Frederick Jordan Chambers and Kellie Edwards of Denman Chambers.

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