An Australian tribunal wasn’t laughing at gun lobbyist Ron Owen’s bumper sticker.
Owen claims the proclamation – which says gays only have the “right” to die – was a joke, but the tribunal disagreed:
The former president of the National Firearm Owners of Australia was taken to the tribunal by several local lesbians, who claimed they had been offended despite only one having seen the bumper sticker.
Two of the women were awarded $5000, with a third awarded $2500 in damages.
Tribunal member Darryl Rangiah handed down a 77-page decision, which also ordered Mr Owen to publish a written apology for inciting hatred and causing offence to the homosexual community of Gympie.
Mr Rangiah acknowledged Mr Owen’s right to free speech, but said he had gone too far with the bumper sticker and in ensuing comments made during a television interview, in a report to a subsequent council meeting and in a letter on his website.
“Ron Owen is entitled to be a homophobe and he is entitled to publicly express his homophobic views,” he said. “That much is required in a society that values freedom of thought and expression. However, there are limits.”
Owen reportedly once justified his car’s adornment by saying, “If a person chooses to follow non-human acts, if they break the law, they lose their human rights.” Sarah Palin, is that you?