Poor old racist Rod; Rod’s been flogging homophobic stickers and assorted other bigoted paraphernalia for years… only now he’s been fined.
Gun lobbyist ordered to pay lesbians
The Age / AAP
September 24, 2008
Queensland gun lobbyist Ron Owen has been ordered to pay three lesbians a total of $12,500 after a landmark decision handed down by the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.
Mr Owen, from the southeast Queensland town of Gympie, also was ordered to publish a statement in local newspaper The Gympie Times within 45 days, stating the tribunal had found he contravened the Anti-Discrimination Act, News Ltd says.
The tribunal found he had displayed a bumper sticker on a vehicle, published a report to the Cooloola Shire Council where he was a former councillor, made a comment in a television interview and published a letter on a website – all of which incited hatred, serious contempt for or severe ridicule of homosexuals.
Mr Owen also had to acknowledge his conduct was unlawful.
The tribunal ordered he should pay Richelle Menzies and Tina Coutts $5,000 each and Suzanne Turner $2,500. A complaint against a fourth woman, Rhonda Bruce, was dismissed.
Mr Owen, who defended the charges, said he would appeal the finding.
“I will keep appealing until the cows come home,” he told the newspaper.
Only gay right is to die, says Ron Owen’s sticker
September 24, 2008
GUN lobbyist Ron Owen has been told he is entitled to express his homophobic views, but that he went too far with the bumper sticker: “Gay Rights? Under God’s law the only rights gays have is the right to die.”
Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal found Mr Owen guilty of inciting hatred against homosexuals with the bumper sticker when he parked his car outside the Cooloola Shire Council officers in Gympie, north of Brisbane.
The publisher of the ultra-right-wing pro-militia magazine Lock Stock & Barrel and former local councillor was also chastised on Monday for comments he made in the ensuing public outcry that engulfed the rural community, The Australian reports.
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.”
The tribunal ruled that Mr Owen – while not the registered owner of the car – had use of it and that the sticker went “beyond a mere joke”.
“The ordinary member of the public would, in my opinion, understand that he or she was being urged to hate and to have serious contempt for homosexuals,” Mr Rangiah said.
Ex-councillor says paper misquoted gay comments
September 24, 2008
Former Cooloola Coast councillor Ron Owen, from Gympie in the state’s south-east, has branded the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission the “thought police” for finding he breached anti-discrimination laws over comments made about homosexuals.
Mr Owen has been ordered to make a public apology and pay more than $12,000 compensation to a group of lesbians who complained about a slogan on a bumper sticker.
He says he will appeal against the finding.
Reading from a prepared statement, Mr Owen denied he displayed the bumper sticker and says a local newspaper misquoted him.
“A single Tribunal member of the new thought police can now find me guilty on what they think I think and not on what I say,” he said.
Owen’s Lock, Stock and Barrel is renowned for its promotion of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and advocating the formation of right-wing “guerilla” groups.
At least two issues of the paper have been banned by the Queensland censorship board. One issue explained how to convert a rifle into a machine-gun, and another how to make “two-part” explosives — explosives designed to kill and maim their victims, then explode a second time to kill emergency workers who come to their aid.
Owen is a Gympie gun-shop owner and federal president of the Firearms Owners’ Association. He also leads an outfit called the Home Security Association. It was Owen who claimed that anti-gun sentiment following the Port Arthur massacre was so strong because there are “too many homosexuals in the media, and homosexuals don’t like guns”.
Lock, Stock and Barrel sells car stickers that proclaim “Gay rights — the only rights gays have is the right to die”.
Lock, Stock and Barrel, in its May-June 1995 issue, described the white race as “superior by far” and claimed that 90% of blacks are “retarded to border-line retarded”. Whites should “have stacks of kids and then some more” and make sure their marriages succeed because “sons growing up with their mothers are four times as likely to turn into raging poofters”.
The Sydney Morning Herald on September 5 reported that Owen claimed a majority of the Firearms Owners’ Association had joined One Nation and would campaign “vigorously” for Hanson candidates. “If you think of One Nation as a being, David Oldfield is the head and we are the body”, Owen said.
~ Norm Dixon, Hanson cements far-right alliance for Queensland elections, Green Left Weekly, December 3, 1997
See also : Walksafe Queensland Anti-Violence Inc provides Queensland communities with information about how to report any level of violence, harassment, threats and verbal abuse towards someone’s sexuality, ethnicity or gender identity within a public setting.
Brighton and Hove Rainbow Chorus : Homophobia (Chumbawamba)