Man won’t apologise for anti-gay booklet

A Tasmanian man ordered by the state’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal to publicly apologise for distributing an offensive anti-gay brochure is refusing to do so, citing a “gross perversion of justice”.


James Durston from Launceston has written a five-page letter to the tribunal, state justice minister and anti-discrimination commissioner, rejecting last week’s ruling and threatening to appeal the decision all the way to the High Court.

“The decision … is a gross perversion of justice in ignorance of both fact and law,” Mr Durston wrote.

He refused to follow the tribunal’s direction that he place a public notice in Hobart’s Mercury newspaper retracting and apologising for the booklet which was distributed to about 3000 suburban Hobart addresses in 2013.

“Scripture rejects homosexuality as utterly abominable,” the booklet, titled Homosexuality Stats, said.

It cited AIDS, suicide, murder and traffic accidents as the reasons why gay men and lesbian women died at a younger age than heterosexual people.

The tribunal found Mr Durston’s conduct humiliated, insulted and ridiculed homosexuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and added that if he did not apologise he would be fined.

But Mr Durston has no intention of saying sorry or paying a fine, which could be up to $1540.

“I had complete right to issue the flyers and as such I don’t have to apologise for them,” his letter reads.

If further legal action is taken against him, Mr Durston said he will “appeal the matter all the way to the High Court of Australia”.

He also threatened to take civil action against tribunal members and the anti-discrimination commissioner, claiming defamation, harassment and intimidation.

The tribunal and commissioner declined to comment when contacted by AAP.

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