News

Councillor who called gays 'un-human' forced to apologise

RON Owen has been found to have broken Queensland's anti-discrimination laws, after an eight-year legal battle over comments he made about homosexuality.

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal member Ann Fitzpatrick found Mr Owen had breached the law with statements about homosexuals in a council report, a community newsletter and a website posting in 2005, according to a report on The Guardian Australia website.

Ms Fitzpatrick found Mr Owen went beyond expressing his own opinions, but also had urged others to hate gays, the article said.

The saga began at a Cooloola Shire Council meeting, at which Mr Owen, then a councillor, was challenged by then-Cooloola Coast councillor Peter Cantrell about his claims to be a champion of individual rights.

Cr Cantrell asked how he could claim to champion human rights while having a bumper sticker which claimed to quote the bible as saying "The only right gays have is the right to die."

Mr Owen denied a Gympie Times report on the meeting, in which he was quoted as saying this was probably because he did not regard gays as human.

Mr Owen also responded in material he published in a report to the council, a community newsletter and a website.

Richelle Menzies and Rhonda Bruce complained to the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, which found against Mr Owen on a number of counts. Mr Owen appealed against that decision in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

Ultimately the matter was heard again this year in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

In findings announced last week, the tribunal found that Mr Owen's breach of anti-discrimination laws came in the form of an August 2005 report which he made to Cooloola Shire Council, entitled "Community morals and youth protection."

He reportedly called for homosexuals to be banned from going near schools, scout halls or churches, among other places.

In a newsletter inserted in letterboxes in parts of Gympie, Mr Owen reportedly defended his views by recalling his statement in council: "I used words to the effect of, 'If a person chooses to partake in un-human activities, they lose their human rights."

Ms Fitzpatrick ruled that "by seeking to convince his constituents of the reasonableness of his views, he is in reality asking them to adopt the same contempt for homosexuals that he feels."

She ordered Owen to give a private apology - "genuine, unqualified and in his own words" - to the complainants.

Gympie Times

Topics:  court editors picks gay homosexual



177 jobs filled in region, but is it a political ploy?

Gympie MP Tony Perrett.

Perrett dismisses 'manipulative' job subsidy boost

Positive signs show Gympie region economy on rise

GROWTH: Population and building growth has begun to bring positive economic signs for the region.

Gympie economy struggles out of recession

Rickard 'Dickie' Wilkins walks off set over hair comments

Comparing Richard Wilkins to a dinosaur? That ain't right.

“Maybe it’s Dickey’s hair!” Jeffreys announced.

Local Partners

Chelsea Handler blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump win

Chelsea Handler pictured in a scene from her talk show in Los Angeles.

TALK show host blames rise of reality TV family for election result.

Law & Order’s Trump inspired episode is still in limbo

The cast of Law & Order: SVU season 18, from left, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza, Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and Peter Scanavino. Supplied by Channel 10.

SHOW'S mastermind unsure if or when twice-delayed episode will air.

50 Shades of Bli Bli: Adult theme park plans revealed

THE MIND BOGGLES: Potential buyers of Sunshine Castle at Bli Bli have considered a range of different themes, including an 'adult entertainment venue'.

Sunshine Castle looks to new, prosperous future.

Dating between the sheets on national TV?

Singles meet for the first time in their underwear in the SBS TV series Undressed.

NO shortage of singles willing to get Undressed with a stranger.

What's on the big screen this week

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

ACCLAIMED Australian film Lion finally makes its domestic debut.

Ruby Rose's gruelling training regimen to get xXx ready

From left, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Rory McCann, and Vin Diesel in a scene from the movie xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

AUSSIE stars opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!